NEW YORK -- A quick take on St. John's 56-50 win over Fordham on Saturday afternoon at Madison Square Garden.
WHAT IT MEANS: St. John's holds on to win the second game of the annual MSG Holiday Festival. More importantly, the Red Storm snap a three-game losing streak, and win their first game since starting point guard Nurideen Lindsey abruptly decided to transfer just nine games into his St. John's career. The Red Storm are now 5-5 on the season.
Fordham is now 4-6 under second-year coach Tom Pecora, and faces three more nonconference games before opening its Atlantic 10 schedule on Jan. 5 at UMass.
THE SKINNY: St. John's and Fordham traded the lead back and forth seven times in an up-and-down first half, before St. John's finished on an 11-0 run to take a 35-26 lead into intermission. The Red Storm played the entire first half without making a substitution, with junior guard Malik Stith sitting out for a minor violation of team rules regarding academics.
St. John's continued its run by scoring the first seven points of the second half, taking its largest lead, 42-26. But Fordham did not pack it in. The Rams ran off seven straight points from there, getting it back within single digits. Fordham got as close as 53-50 on a Kervin Bristol bucket with just under two minutes remaining, and had one possession with a chance to tie late, but failed. St. John's hung on for the victory.
BIG STARS: D'Angelo Harrison led three St. John's players in double figures with 15 points, 12 of them coming in the first half. Moe Harkless added 13 points and 16 rebounds, and God'sgift Achiuwa had 10 points and eight boards.
Branden Frazier had 17 points to lead Fordham, 13 of them coming in the first half. Chris Gaston had 11 points and 14 rebounds.
NUMBER CRUNCH: Fordham had much better rebounding numbers coming in, but St. John's dominated the Rams on the backboards, with a 51-37 edge, including 19-15 on the offensive glass.
WHAT'S NEXT: St. John's has one more game before Christmas, hosting Texas-Pan American at Carnesecca Arena this coming Wednesday at 7 p.m. Fordham will host Texas State on Thursday at 7 p.m.