The St. John's Red Storm continue play in the Charleston Classic men's basketball tournament Friday when the Murray St. Racers face off against the Red Storm (5:30 p.m. ET on ESPN3) in round two of the four-day event. The winner will place either the Colorado Buffaloes or Baylor Bears in Sunday's championship game.
On Thursday, St. John's (2-0) easily handled the host team, the Charleston Cougars, 64-53, in round one. For the second straight game sophomore guard D'Angelo Harrison paced the Johnnies with 21 points, while freshman forward JaKarr Sampson added eight points and 10 rebounds.
Behind a quick seven points by Harrison, the Red Storm raced out to a 22-11 lead with just six minutes gone in the first half and never looked back.
The Cougars were led by Nori Johnson's 11 points while Trent Widedeman added 10.
The victory setup a second-round showdown with the Racers (2-0), easily St. John's toughest opponent so far this season, who downed the Auburn Tigers, 79-59, on Thursday.
Murray State, which last season finished with a 31-2 overall record and was eliminated in the third round of the NCAA Tournament, has a roster filled with returning veterans.
Through two games, the Racers are paced by senior forward Stacy Wilson (6'3, 201) who's averaging 21.0 points per game. Senior forward Ed Daniel (6'7, 228) is averaging 15.0 ppg and 9.0 rebounds per game.
Meanwhile, to stay in the contest the Johnnies will need another solid effort for Harrison (21.5 ppg), who returned to the starting lineup Thursday, and sophomore guard Phil Greene IV, who's averaging 15.0 ppg. Sophomore forward Amir Garrett is averaging 13.0 ppg and 7.5 rpg.