The Holiday Festival has given fans memorable moments since its inception in 1952, and the St. John’s men’s basketball team added another on Saturday, scoring more than 100 points in a game for the first time since 1999.
The Red Storm knocked off intra-city rival Fordham 104-58, in the 85th meeting between the two teams. St. John’s hit 17 shots in a row at one point, on its way to win number six of the young season. The 46-point margin accounted for the biggest victory in the series dating back to 1909.
“I doubt we’ll play a game like this the rest of the year,” said St. John’s Head Coach Steve Lavin after the win.
“We were taking turns dominating,” JaKarr Sampson, who made all six of his shots, said. “It feels good. When everything is going your way in the flow of the game, it feels good.”
It was the first game of the season at Madison Square Garden for St. John’s, after playing early home games at Carnesecca Arena.
“It’s my first time playing at Madison Square Garden,” Orlando Sanchez, who scored a game-high 19 points, said. “It’s everybody’s dream to play here.”
It was the third borough St. John’s played in this season, having already played at Carnesecca Arena in Queens and the Barclays Center in Brooklyn.
The old record for margin of victory in the rivalry had been 41, when St. John’s beat the Rams 97-56 in 1978. It was the 64th win for St. John’s against Fordham against 21 losses.
La Salle defeated Stony Brook 65-57 in the first game of the Holiday Festival doubleheader, as La Salle Head Coach Dr. John Giannini relished playing at the Garden.
“Just driving up to it you know you are going to someplace special. I am a child of the 70s. I have seen Led Zeppelin go through these tunnels over here in their limo, and I thought that was really cool,” the victorious coach said. “Once you get on the court though, they made it nice. It’s not old. It doesn’t feel like the 70s.”
The Red Storm will play their next game at Madison Square Garden on Dec. 15 against Syracuse.