Despite Scare from LoVett, Johnnies Take Down Privateers

(St. John's Red Storm Head Coach Chris Mullin addresses media during post-game press conference)

Jamaica, NY--In a season that only features nine players in a rotation, the potential "injury" does not go in the same sentence with St. John's basketball. Marcus LoVett looked like he may have added that word to the teams dictionary last night in a Red Storm (1-0) victory over the New Orleans Privateers (0-1) But luckily for fans, and for his team, he walked off the court on his own two feet.

The first ever meeting between the two teams, was not a fun one for Kassoum Yakwe and his Red Storm in the beginning, where he had two fouls only eight minutes into the season opening contest. Back and forth "choppy" play is the way head coach Chris Mullin described his teams opening few minutes. The Johnnies turned the corner down the stretch where they finished the first half on a 7-0 run. In the second half, St. John's started the period with an 8-0 run in the first three minutes with multiple fouls committed by Mark Slessinger's Privateers, who made the big dance last season. The New Orleans Privateers, who made a 9-0 run down the stretch caused some concern for Chris Mullin's Red Storm. It didn't seem to phase the Johnnies much, as they were fouled and continued to net positive free throws to seal the deal by a score of 77-61.

"I thought we had a hard time in the first half. We put them on the line a lot and couldn't get going." Said Clark in the post-game press conference Throughout the evening, Second year red-shirt sophomore Indiana native Marcus LoVett played his normal role, scoring 23 points in the game, going 50% from the field, and 5 of 10 from beyond the arc. Playing in his first collegiate game (that counts) in over a year, former Michigan State Spartan Marvin Clark II, posted 15 points, which was tied a career high, set previously with legendary coach Tom Izzo and the Spartans. The red-shirt sophomore went 5 for 6 from the field, and came up with three boards on the night. Clark II, set a Michigan State freshman record three years ago, by playing in all 39 games en route to their Final Four run.

Clark II told the media after the game, "It felt great to finally get out there and play against some competition and play when it matters. When you have a guy like Marcus (LoVett) with me who can create shots for everyone, it makes my job a lot easier."

The Johnnies return to Carnesecca Arena on Tuesday as Justin Simon and Co. play host to Central Connecticut at 6:30pm. Game can be seen and heard on FS2, and WSJU.

Joseph Jarzynka