The 2011-12 college basketball season officially began last night as a new-look St. John's squad battled its way to a 74-59 win against William & Mary in the 2K Sports Classic Benefitting Coaches vs. Cancer at Carnesecca Arena.
The Red Storm reached the NCAA tournament for the first time since 2000 last season, but this year's team bears almost no resemblance to last year's group. Only one player from last season is back as the roster lists six freshmen among its 10 players.
The Red Storm showed poise beyond its years against William & Mary, however, battling back from a seven-point halftime deficit by playing turnover-free basketball in the second half, while forcing 12 Tribe miscues. St. John's shot 67.9 percent from the field (19-of-26) in the final 20 minutes.
Guard Nurideen Lindsey led four players in double figures as he finished with 19 points, four assists and five steals. Forwards Moe Harkless and God'sgift Achiuwa had 17 points each, while guard D'Angelo Harrison had 14.
St. John's continues play in the 2K Sports Classic Wednesday against Lehigh on ESPN2. Eight more BIG EAST teams begin their seasons Friday.