Phil Greene IV scored a career-high 24 points and Charleston Classic All-Tournament Team member D’Angelo Harrison netted 20 for his fourth 20-point effort in as many games this season as St. John’s hung with No. 16 Baylor and trailed just 82-77 with 3:37 remaining before the Bears capped the game on a 15-1 run and secured a 97-78 victory at the Charleston Classic on Sunday.
St. John’s (2-2), which was playing its fourth game in six days, led by as many as nine points midway through the first half before the Bears responded to take a 45-42 lead into halftime.
The Red Storm eventually pulled even at 66-66 with 9:59 remaining in the second half before a quick 7-0 run gave the Bears some breathing room.
Greene, who notched his first-career 20-point game in a season-opening win against Detroit, added seven assists, while Harrison drained six 3-pointers for the Red Storm. JaKarr Sampson also scored a career-high 18 points for St. John’s, which shot a season-high 46.9 percent (30-of-64) from the floor.
Brady Heslip shot 8-of-12 from beyond the arc and scored a game-high 29 points to lead Baylor (4-1). Cory Jefferson had 20 points and 14 boards, while Isaiah Austin added 13 points and 13 rebounds to give the Bears two players with double-doubles.
“We'll grow from this and we need this type of early schedule,” said head coach Steve Lavin. “We were playing at a high level against a Top 20 team to cap a stretch of three games away from New York, away from our region.”
Lavin acknowledged the rebounding problems as Baylor posted a 41-20 advantage on the boards, but was more encouraged by how his young team hung with the much taller Bears most of the way.
“To come to the South and have the youngest team in the country play against good competition, it's the only way we're going to grow,” said Lavin. “I would say I am very encouraged, probably as encouraged as with any team I've had at this stage.”
Baylor and St. John's both came off disappointing losses that kept them from the championship game.
The Bears, matched up against a Colorado team they ousted from last year's NCAA tournament, fell behind right before the break and could never catch up in a 60-58 loss.
The Red Storm led Murray State by seven points midway through the second half, then watched the Racers take off on a 12-0 run to move in front and hold on for a 72-67 victory.
St. John’s returns to action on Nov. 21, hosting Holy Cross at Carnesecca Arena for a 7:30 p.m. contest that will air on SNY.