NEW YORK (AP) — Vince Cole scored 19 points and St. John's defeated La Salle 82-65 on Thursday to win The Lapchick Tournament at Carnesecca Arena on campus.
Marcellus Earlington added 14 points off the bench, Greg Williams Jr. scored 13 and freshman Dylan Addae-Wusu had 10 points and six rebounds for St. John's (2-0).
Cole, a junior college All-American, is off to a terrific start in his first season with the Red Storm. The junior guard had 21 points and drained a clutch 3-pointer — his fifth of the game in six attempts — with 8.5 seconds left to rally St. John’s past Saint Peter’s 76-75 in his Division I debut Wednesday night.
Cole scored the final five points of that game in the last 20 seconds. A day later, he made all six free throws and added five rebounds, four assists, two steals and a block in 33 minutes against La Salle.
Ayinde Hikim had 14 points for the Explorers (0-1). Christian Ray added 12 and Sherif Kenney scored 10.
St. John’s played without its top two returning scorers from last season in Rasheem Dunn and Julian Champagnie.
Dunn took a hard fall Wednesday night, went to the hospital and got stitches. He is in concussion protocol and was home resting, coach Mike Anderson said.
Champagnie was still receiving treatment and is expected to be a game-time decision Monday night against former Big East rival Boston College in Connecticut.
St. John’s made 16 steals and forced 26 turnovers by the Explorers, the latter number its most since Maryland Eastern Shore turned the ball over 30 times in the 2005-06 opener.
Brought back this season after a long hiatus, The Lapchick Tournament honors late Hall of Fame coach Joe Lapchick, who spent 20 years at the helm for St. John’s.
St. John’s improved to 43-1 all-time in an event held annually at the school from 1975-95, with 21 titles in 22 tries.
La Salle will play Saint Peter’s for second place Friday afternoon at Carnesecca Arena.