Justin Simon Easily Sends Red Storm to 2-0

(Photo Credit to Vincent Dusovic/St. John's University Athletics)

Jamaica, NY-- A team that has a small lineup similar to the Red Storm (2-0), the Central Connecticut squad led by Mustafa Jones and Deion Bute couldn't get the job done versus the Johnnies tonight as they fell to 0-3 at Carnesecca.

The Red Storm team led by NBA Hall of Famer Chris Mullin, was in full swing tonight after a 77-61 victory in their first contest vs. New Orleans. Redshirt sophomore transfer from Arizona, Justin Simon recorded his first double double, by recording 12 points and 11 boards, 3 assists, and 3 steals in 34 total minutes of play. Brooklyn native and face of the 2017-18 Johnnies, Shamorie Pond was one rebound away from a double-double of his own. Ponds netted 21 points, 4 assists, 9 rebounds, and 3 steals as well. Shamorie responded about the teams defensive performance, "Coach preaches to us to pressure the ball so we just try to stay on them from both the front and the back end and to just put as much pressure on them as we can."

Chris Mullin spoke to the media in the post-game press conference. "It's something that we've worked hard on in the offseason, thats for sure. Part of that is conditioning because to play defense, you have to be fit. We ask our guys to get up and pressure the ball, we don't want to gamble, but we want to get up and wear them down all night." The defense has allowed over 20 turnovers in their first two matchups.

The lone freshman on the squad, Bryan Trimble Jr. has been dropping jaws on most of the media in the first two games plus the exhibitions, and put on a show by dropping two from downtown and garnering a total of eight points and shooting 3/5 from the field. Teammate Justin Simon spoke about the freshman's progress so far. "We've been asking him to do just that. He's been shooting the ball with great energy. We encourage him to shoot the ball, and he is a spark off the bench for sure."

The Johnnies went on a 16-0 run after the 12 minute mark of the second half and shut the Blue Devils down from any hope of coming back in this matchup. The Red Storm moved ahead by a whopping 28 points with six and a half left in the game, which put the game out of reach. 

Redshirt Sophomore Marcus LoVett finished the game with 15 points, six for ten from field goal range, and contributed four assists. A name that has been mentioned plenty of times, Marvin Clark II, only saw 17 minutes of playing action, as he had four personal fouls just 23 minutes into the game.

Now the real test begins on Thursday in the Gavitt Tipoff Games, which features a Big 10 team, which will be the Nebraska Huskers landing in Queens on Thursday. "It's going to a physical matchup. I told our players tonight, this is going to be the biggest and strongest team that we've played so far. They are going to bring their physicality, that's always been the case with the Big Ten. We have to meet that with force, and then get back and play our game.

Bryan Trimble, Jr. and the Red Storm's next test will come against the Huskers of Nebraska on Thursday night at 6:30pm. The game can be seen on FS1 and can be heard on WSJU St. John's University Radio Network.

Joseph Jarzynka