God's Gift AchiuwaBy Paul Seaver (TheArenaPulse) This post is part of The Arena Pulse's Player of the Night feature.
Each morning throughout the 2011-12 season, The Arena Pulse
will select and name its "Player of the Night" from the previous evening's action.
The college basketball season continued on Wednesday, Nov. 9, with four games featuring teams participating in the 2011 2k Sports Coaches vs. Cancer Classic.
With much of the nation opening up the season on Friday, Nov. 11, teams like St. John's, Mississippi State, and Arizona took to the court on Wednesday in their second scheduled game of the season.
The winner of The Arena Pulse's Player of the Night
God's Gift AchiuwaSchool:
21 points, 8 rebounds, 1 assist, 1 block
After trailing by seven points at halftime on Monday night to William & Mary, St. John's roared back, eventually taking the contest to begin the season at 1-0.
Wednesday night presented a similar feel, as the Johnnies trailed by ten at halftime to visiting Lehigh. The Mountain Hawks upped the lead to 16 at one point, as it appeared college basketball was set on seeing its first upset of the 2011-12 season.
However, the play of junior forward God's Gift Achiuwa
, helped the Red Storm roar back yet again, improving to 2-0 overall with a thrilling 78-73 victory at home.
While credit must also be given to St. John's Nurideen Lindsey
(15 points) and freshman Maurice Harkless
(15 points), Achiuwa led the Johnnies in scoring, finishing the game with 21 points. The offensive scoring mark is a new career-high for the JUCO transfer, as Achiuwa has quickly implemented his importance in the St. John's roster.
Not only did Achiuwa lead the way in scoring, he also secured a team-high eight rebounds. His ability to lead the team on the glass was crucial, as St. John's as a team was out-rebounded by Lehigh 32-26 in the contest.
While the Red Storm finished the contest 30-of-44 from the free throw line on Wednesday night, Achiuwa was key at the stripe, finishing 9-for-9 at the line. The 6-foot-8 forward also finished the game with an unblemished mark from the field (6-of-6).
Achiuwa is averaging 19.0 points and 8.5 rebounds through the first two games of the season.
On a side note, St. John's head coach Steve Lavin
returned to the sidelines for the first time since surgery in relation to his fight against prostate cancer. The crowd greeted Lavin's return with the utmost excitement.
St. John's will be back in action on Sunday, Nov. 13 as they play host to UMBC. The game will serve as one final tune-up before St. John's heads to Madison Square Garden as part of the semifinals of the 2k Sports Coaches vs. Cancer Classic, beginning on Thursday, Nov. 17.
*Photo: God's Gift Achiuwa *Credit: redstormsports.com
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