St. John's beats Fordham 104-58

NEW YORK -- Seventeen shots in a row. Not one guy shooting in a gym by himself. A Division I team playing another Division I team and one of them made seventeen shots in a row.

"It feels good," said St. John's JaKarr Sampson who made five of those 17 shots. "Everything is going your way in the flow of the game. It feels good."

The Red Storm used that incredible shooting streak to pull away for a 104-58 victory over Fordham on Saturday in the Holiday Festival at Madison Square Garden.

It was the first time St. John's scored 100 points in a game in almost 14 years. It was the biggest blowout in the 85 games played between these New York City schools, a series that started in 1909.

"This showed how we're capable of playing," Red Storm guard D'Angelo Harrison said. "If this is how we play we're tough to beat. ... Everybody had their good game today."

Orlando Sanchez was 8 of 10 from the field and had a career-high 19 points along with eight rebounds and four assists for St. John's.

It was the first game in Madison Square Garden for the senior who is playing his first season in Division I.

"Everybody on the team tells me I have to shoot all the time," said Sanchez, who had a previous best of eight points and came in averaging 4.4 points per game. "I shoot everything today."

Then there was the other side of the stat sheet.

Fordham's Jon Severe, who came into the game as the leading freshman scorer in the nation with a 22.3 average, had nine points on 1-for-21 shooting.

"I feel for Jon. He's a New York kid with a lot of hype and it was his first time in the Garden and he laid an egg," Fordham coach Tom Pecora said. "I trust him. There'll be better days for him."

Mandell Thomas had 15 points and Branden Frazier added 13 for the Rams (4-3).

The Red Storm (6-2) had one of the best shooting runs a team could have. They didn't miss a shot for 12 1/2 minutes, making 17 consecutive shots in that span and taking a 50-32 lead with 1:30 to play in the first half. Harrison, whose 3-point miss with 13:30 to play was the last unsuccessful shot, missed a 3 with 51 seconds to play to end the run.

St. John's shooting effort against Fordham's 2/3 zone was well above its norm and it wasn't just Sanchez. The Red Storm came into the game shooting 43.3 percent from the field and hitting 29.1 percent of their 3-point attempts.

Sampson made all six of his shots and Phil Greene IV was 4 of 5.

On Saturday, St. John's was 39 of 59 from the field (66.1 percent) and it made 9 of 15 3-point attempts (60 percent).

"I doubt we'll play a game like this the rest of the year," St. John's coach Steve Lavin said. "By no means have we arrived. We have so far to go before we're a competitive team at this level."

Sampson started the shot streak with a move down low and Sir'Dominic Pointer followed with an empathic dunk and then came make after make. The baskets included dunks, transition layups and two 3-pointers.

Pointer had 12 points, 11 assists and nine rebounds for St. John's.

The Red Storm were 22 of 28 (78.6 percent) from the field in the first half.

Fordham's struggles from the field (25.6 percent, 11 of 43) helped turn the game into a rout as the Red Storm took a 52-32 halftime lead.

"At halftime I said `They can't be shooting this way," Pecora said. "I wasn't concerned if they shot well from 3. I was concerned with the dunks and layups. There was panic. I could see it in their eyes."

The Red Storm pulled away throughout the second half. This was the largest margin of victory in the 85-game series. The previous worst was St. John's 97-56 win on Jan. 11, 1978.

This was the first time the Red Storm scored 100 points since a 104-70 victory over Providence on Feb. 15, 1999.

The Red Storm came into the game leading the nation at 10.6 blocked shots per game. They had 10 against Fordham, four by sophomore Chris Obekpa, who leads the country at 7.0 per game.

St. John's leads the all-time series with Fordham 64-21.