St. John's
(Photo via St. John's)

Julian Champagnie and Posh Alexander lead the way as St. John’s utilizes its frenetic pace to beat Boston College in a shootout.

Danny Small

St. John’s stole a win against St. Peter’s in their season debut, but their last two wins have been in a much more convincing fashion. Boston College opened up a 10-point lead against St. John’s early in Monday’s game, but the Red Storm finished the first half on a 23-8 run to take back the lead.

They led by as many as 20 in the second half, but allowed the Eagles to claw their way back into it and make it a one-possession game with just seconds remaining. Clutch free throws and solid three-point defense allowed St. John’s to hold on and win 97-93.

The Johnnies received contributions from up and down the roster on Monday, but Julian Champagnie was the star of the show. He scored a career-high 29 points after missing the first two games with an injury. Champagnie was on the Big East All-Freshman team last year for a reason.

Figuring out who the go-to guy will be when the game is on the line is going to be a major storyline for St. John’s in the early part of the season. Champagnie is a potential option. Vince Cole struggled with foul trouble against BC, but he’s shown that he can make a big shot already.

And let’s not forget about the top returning scorer in Queens — Rasheem Dunn — who is dealing with an injury right now. Greg Williams Jr. also scored 17 points, hit some crucial free throws late, and nearly brought the house down with a thunderous dunk. When he’s hot, he presents another option for head coach Mike Anderson.

Posh Alexander is more of a pure point guard than a scorer, but don’t sleep on his ability to go get a big bucket. The true freshman poured in 18 points, four rebounds, and four assists in the win against Boston College. The three-star freshman can be out of control at times — see his whiffed windmill dunk on Monday — but he looks like he belongs out there on the court.

His confidence is through the roof. Although it’s far too early to make any definitive proclamations, Alexander looks like he will be in the conversation for the Big East All-Freshman team this year.

Unlike last season when LJ Figueroa and Mustapha Heron were the lead dogs last year, St. John’s still needs to work out who will be the alpha when the game is on the line.

What’s Next for St. John’s?

Don’t blink or you might miss another change to the college hoops schedule this year. St. John’s is staying at the Mohegan Sun in Connecticut for one more game. They will face off against BYU at 5:00 p.m. ET on Wednesday.

The Cougars are 3-0 with wins over Division II Westminster College, New Orleans, and Utah Valley. They will face St. John’s on the second day of a back-to-back with the first leg coming against USC on Tuesday.

The Red Storm were originally slated to play No. 17 Texas Tech on Wednesday, but they deemed that traveling to Lubbock, Texas was a risk not worth taking. COVID-19 cases are spiking in that area of the country.