St. John's primary objective against smaller schools obviously is to win, but it is seeking a more consistent showing after getting past Fairleigh Dickinson.
The Red Storm get their next chance at putting together a better performance Tuesday when they host St. Francis of Brooklyn in New York.
St. John's (3-1) won its first two games over Mississippi Valley State and Saint Peter's by a combined 79 points. After nearly erasing a 13-point deficit at Indiana on Wednesday, St. John's struggled at times before doing enough in the final minutes for an 87-74 win over Fairleigh Dickinson.
St. John's led by 18 mid-way through the first half, settled for a 13-point halftime lead and then opened a 22-point lead with about 10 minutes left before seeing it cut to nine nearly five minutes later.
"You don't let teams hang around," St. John's star forward Julian Champagnie said. "I mean, we won the game, but we have to be better as a team defensively and offensively. Even when we don't have things going, you have to pull things out."
Champagnie totaled 17 points and 10 rebounds for his 12th career double-double, but also missed 13-of-19 shots after shooting 55.1 percent in his first three games.
St. John's also missed 17-of-22 attempts from 3-point range after shooting 43.2 percent from beyond the arc in its first three games.
If there is any area the Red Storm are hoping to replicate, it is the ability to force turnovers and capitalize on them.
St. John's forced 23 turnovers and scored 27 points off them versus Fairleigh Dickinson. The Red Storm have forced at least 16 giveaways in each game.
St. Francis (0-3) has absorbed three double-digit losses and is averaging 63.3 points to start a season in which it was picked for seventh in the Northeast Conference preseason poll.
The Terriers are coming off their most competitive performance so far after taking a 74-59 loss at Penn State on Thursday. St. Francis trailed by five late in the first half before facing a 13-point deficit at intermission.
The Terriers are led by Patrick Emilien, who averages 13.0 points per game. He scored 16 points Thursday against Penn State.
--Field Level Media