College Hoops Player of the Day for Wednesday, November 9, 2011
The Red Storm of St. John's ran its record to 2-0 with a 78-73 victory over feisty Lehigh in the second round of of the 2K Sports Classic benefiting Coaches vs. Cancer at Carneseca Arena.
Leading all scorers was God'sgift Achiuwa (yes, that's his real name), a 6'8" junior forward from Nigeria who spent his underclassman years at Erie Community College in upstate New York.
Achiuwa scored on every shot he took, going 6-for-6 from the field and canning all nine of his free throws for 21 points. He also hauled in eight rebounds and contributed a steal, a block and an assist.
St. John's trailed Lehigh for most of the game. Taking a 43-33 lead into half time, the Mountain Hawks held sway until the final few minutes, when St. John's used defensive pressure to gather up a few easy baskets, take the lead and hold on for the win.
The game was significant for St. John's in that it marked the return of head coach Steve Lavin, who had been away from the team for a cancer operation. Lavin's return was expected, though not quite this soon. He was originally scheduled to return to his team on Sunday, when the Red Storm faces Maryland-Baltimore County.
Following Sunday's game, St. John's heads to the familiarity of Madison Square Garden on November 17, when they tackle the Arizona Wildcats in the semifinal round of the K Sports Classic benefiting Coaches vs. Cancer.