Thibodaux’s career-high scoring effort not enough for UNO at St. John’s
NEW YORK – The bench provided 33 of its 61 points in Friday’s season opener at St. John’s University, but the University of New Orleans (0-1) fell victim to the Johnnies’ balanced offensive attack in the 77-61 setback at Carnesecca Arena.
Highlighted by Travin Thibodeaux tying his career-high of 18 points on 6-of-10 shooting, the Privateers’ second unit outscored the Red Storm’s 33-8. Jorge Rosa added 10 points and six rebounds, second most behind Thibodeaux’s seven. St. John’s was able to pull away scoring 36 points off UNO’s 21 turnovers.
The second unit kept the Privateers within striking distance as the bench scored seven of their 16 points at the 7:21 mark while the St. John’s bench went scoreless.
Queens native Tyren Harrison took over with back-to-back steals, sandwiched by a fast break layup and capped by two free throws to cut St. John’s lead to 23-21 with 6:30 remaining.
At the half, the Privateers trailed 37-28.
Harrison led the club with six points and two steals, Thibodeaux came off the bench with five to match Michael Zeno and Rosa was credited with two assists.
The Johnnies shot 52.0 percent from the floor in the opening stanza, led by Marvin Clark II’s 11 points.
Thibodeaux got off to a quick start with a jumper and three-pointer to become the first UNO player to reach double figures with 10. Following Thibs’ triple, the Red Storm went on a 14-3 run to extend their lead to 50-36 with 14:37 left to play.
Moments later, Bryson Robinson came up with a steal and on the ensuing St. John’s possession, Harrison swatted away the layup attempt that led to Rosa’s second chance bucket.
Rosa joined Thibodeaux in double figures with 10 points and five boards at the 7:52 mark, but St. John’s took its largest lead of the game with behind its balanced offensive attack, 61-44.
Following the final media timeout of regulation, the Privateers made it interesting with a triple by Robinson and back-to-back jumpers by Charles, the latter coming from behind-the-arc to cap off a 9-0 run and cut the deficit to 11 with 2:55 left to play.
The Red Storm picked up the season opening victory 77-61.
The Privateers head to Michigan to battle the Horizon League’s Oakland University Monday night on ESPN3.
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