NEW YORK (AP) D'Angelo Harrison, who spent the two exhibition games in coach Steve Lavin's doghouse, broke out in the season opener, scoring 22 points as St. John's rallied to beat Detroit 77-74 on Tuesday.
The Red Storm (1-0) finished the game on a 24-14 run. Phil Greene added 20 points, while Amir Garrett had 15 points and 11 rebounds. Freshman Chris Obepka lived up to his defensive reputation, finishing with seven points, 11 rebounds and eight blocked shots.
Ray McCallum led the Titans (1-1) with 21 and Jason Calliste added 18.
Detroit was able to turn over St. John's twice in the last minute and Juwan Howard Jr. was short on a possible tying 3-pointer at the buzzer.
The game was part of ESPN's yearly marathon, 24 consecutive hours of college basketball.
Harrison, a sophomore guard, was taken out of the first exhibition game early and didn't return, and he didn't play at all in the second. Lavin said the player he expected to be the leader of the young team wasn't doing what leaders were expected to do. Lavin stressed the transgressions were minor, and he hoped to use the situation to teach Harrison and the rest of the team.
St. John's took its first lead since 25-23 when Sir'Dominic Pointer scored on a drive to make it 64-62 with 4:39 to play. That shot capped an 11-2 run during which the Titans managed one field goal - a drive by McCallum - in six possessions.
Detroit had scored 11 straight points to take a 34-25 lead with 2:04 left in the first half, and the Titans were up 37-29 at halftime despite shooting just 33.3 percent. The Red Storm weren't much better, hitting 37.5 percent.
St. John's shot much better in the second half (57.1 percent), but turnovers (15) became a big problem, and the Titans were able to turn them into 17 points.
Still, the Red Storm were hanging around, and a 7-0 run capped by two free throws by Garrett made it 60-60 with 6:39 to play. St. John's was able to extend the lead to 75-69 on two free throws by Greene with 17 seconds left.
McCallum, the Horizon League preseason player of the year and the son of Detroit coach Ray McCallum, finished 8 of 23 from the field, including 4 of 12 from 3-point range.
Lavin returned after coaching just four games last season because of prostate surgery. The Red Storm were 13-19 last season under assistant coach Mike Dunlap, now the coach of the Charlotte Bobcats.