Mustapha Heron scored 18 points Saturday at Carnesecca Arena. The St. John’s senior guard was impressive as he scored a game-high in 16 minutes, 7-for-11 shooting, 3-for-6 from the line.
The Johnnies won their second straight and ran their early season record to 6-2 with their 86-63 win over Wagner. He also hit 3-for-6 from three-point range.
And if this type of effort continues, averaging 14.8 points per game, it could be something to anticipate before St, John’s begins Big East Conference play. Heron is taking control and not bypassing a fact that St. John’s is playing good and winning basketball.
“Those shots he was making, I thought it opened up the floor for our guys and we were able to attack early on and kind of set the stage,” said coach Mike Anderson.
Point to this win, St John’s outscored Wagner, 29-3, in those important fast breaks on the court. You can get the idea here, Mustafa Heron is a major part of the scoring and there are indications to be more double figure scoring in the box score.
The issues of staying on the court and avoiding foul trouble is a work in progress.
“I thought I was just moving,” Heron said. “I thought I was moving a little better and took some good shots. It wasn’t anything spectacular. I just moved and took some good shots.”
But those good shots have been coming, even with the foul problems that kept him off the court in this latest win for St. John’s. He scored a season-high 30 points last month as the Johnnies had an easy 87-57 win over Central Connecticut State.
So, when Heron gets the ball, and if Anderson has his team on the run, there could be more games of scoring 30 or more. Of course, conference play opens up a different perspective as the opponents are that much tougher.
After that 30-point effort, Anderson said about his senior “He put the time in. He’s one of those guys who’s determined. I’m sure he’s got goals, and the best thing about it is that his major goal right now is St. John’s being the best team it can be.”
Heron watches the film and sees what can get better. That worked after not being satisfied with his previous game of scoring six points against UMASS and playing time of 16 minutes.
“I think every night it is important that I perform or the team is not going to be successful.” he said. “We pride ourselves on our depth and that we can go to the last guy on our bench and he can give just as much as a starter.”
St. John’s continues their five-game homestand with St. Peter’s Tuesday evening in another non-conference game. Heron will be on the court but he knows this is a team game and not just about him.
“Coach preaches that it could be anybody’s night on any given night,” he said. “That’s what we live by.”
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