WATCH: Durand Johnson and Ron Mvouika lead St. John's over UMBC
On Monday night, Durand Johnson and Ron Mvouika, St. John's two graduate transfers, played like the leaders first-year head coach Chris Mullin needs them to be.
The duo combined for 25 points in the second half in the Red Storm's 75-53 win over UMBC.
"Durand and Ron were big time tonight," Mullin said in the postgame press conference. "They played like the leaders that we need them to be. We don't have a deep bench right now so we need contributions from everybody. Durand struggled in the first half, but that just shows you his experience."
Johnson scored all 15 of his points in the second half, including eight straight. The individual run came after UMBC had closed the gap to two, 33-31, with a 7-0 run. Mvouika added 10 of his 16 points in the frame and hit all four of his 3-pointers on the evening.
It was the first game each of them shot the ball well. Johnson was 2-of-10, while Mvouika was 3-of-8 off the bench in a win against Wagner on Friday night. The two had also combined for a 1-of-12 performance in the embarrassing 32-point exhibition loss to Division II St. Thomas Aquinas.
Federico Mussini led St. John's with 18 points again.
St. John's next game is part of the Gavitt Tipoff Games, as it hosts former conference foe Rutgers on Thursday night at Madison Square Garden.