NEW YORK (AP) When St. John’s landed Rysheed Jordan, the consensus was that he would be an excellent starter.
So far, that’s half true.
Jordan came off the bench Sunday and tied a career high by scoring 24 points to lead No. 24 St. John’s to a 74-53 rout of Fordham in the ECAC Holiday Festival.
”I thought Rysheed played with poise,” Red Storm coach Steve Lavin said. ”Played with the right pace. Near perfect game.”
D’Angelo Harrison added 22 for St. John’s, which improved to 8-1 after winning its fourth straight.
The game was St. John’s 47th appearance in the Holiday Festival, and the Red Storm improved to 71-38 all-time in the traditional New York City college basketball doubleheader held at Madison Square Garden.
Eric Paschall’s 14 points led Fordham (3-5). Chris Sengfelder and Mandell Thomas chipped in with 11 points apiece while Antwoin Anderson finished with nine points.
”I thought we played well for 15 minutes,” Fordham coach Tom Pecora said ”We lost our focus in the last five minutes of the first half.
Fordham has lost three in a row to St. John’s.
Fordham’s ball management did not aid its cause. The Rams committed 20 turnovers and shot 39 percent from the field – 23 percent from 3 – and only made 10 of 17 free throws.
FORDHAM: The Rams’ last win against St. John’s was Dec. 11, 2010 at Rose Hill Gym. Fordham came back from a 20-point halftime deficit to beat Steve Lavin’s first St. John’s team, a group which would reach the NCAA Tournament.
ST. JOHN’S: The Red Storm lost Chris Obekpa for the game with 3:48 until halftime after the junior big man was assessed his second technical foul of the first half. Obekpa entered the game ranked third in the nation with 4.1 blocks per game and his 9.9 rebounds is most in the Big East this season.
QUOTABLE: ”This is a pro town. … New York loves basketball. New Yorkers have a good appreciation for good basketball. New York fans appreciate good basketball.” –St. Johns coach Steve Lavin’s response when asked if he believed his team’s start to the season was beginning to earn interest from the New York City fanbase.
FORDHAM: Hosts Manhattan on Dec. 22.
ST. JOHN’S: Hosts Saint Mary’s (CA.) on Dec. 19.