The St. John's Red Storm improved to 7-3 on the season, as they played stellar defense to hold off Fordham 58-47 at Madison Square Garden's Holiday Festival on Saturday night.
St. John's center Chris Obekpa had 11 blocks, a new school record, breaking his own record of eight set in the season opener on Novermber 13th vs. Detroit.
Obekpa had six blocks in the second half, which made a big difference, and he also had seven points and five rebounds.
The first half was dominated by Fordham, but St. John's closed the half on an 8-4 run to make it 27-24 Fordham at the half.
The second half was much like their match-up in the Holiday Festival a year ago, as it stayed tight early, and St. John's gradually pulled away.
The game was tied at 38 halfway through the second half, and they went on a 7-2 run over the next two minutes to take a 45-40 lead on a JaKarr Sampson jumper.
St. John's never gave up the lead from that point on, and had a 55-44 lead with 1:53 left when D'Angelo Harrison hit two free throws.
Fordham was ice cold from the field in the second half, making just eight of 38 shots, and shot just 28.8 percent for the game.
Sampson led St. John's in scoring with 16 points on 6-for-17 shooting, and had 10 rebounds, giving him a double-double.
Harrison finished with 14 points, but shot an uncharacteristic 3-for-12 from the field, and made eight out of 10 free throws.
Phil Greene was held to eight points, but facilitated St. John's fast-paced offense in the second half, and dished out four assists.
WATCH video of St. John's Head Coach Steve Lavin:
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