Undefeated Johnnies Finish Off Homestand vs. Molloy

(Photo taken by St. John's University Athletics)

Jamaica, NY--After a convincing victory over Nebraska, who was arguably the tallest squad they've faced since Villanova in the Big East Tournament roughly eight months ago. The St. John's Red Storm (3-0) welcome in an opponent, who is familiar by fans, but not so much by Division. Molloy Lions (1-3), who play in the East Coast Conference (ECC)/NCAA Division II, will make their way northwest to Carnesecca Arena in their first ever meeting between the two.

After the 79-56 victory over Nebraska, sophomore Shamorie Ponds received a Big East Honor Roll award. He had 22 points, five assists, and seven boards versus the Big Ten opponent this past Thursday.  In the victory, senior forward Bashir Ahmed added 15 points of his own, along with five boards. He wasn't the only one who had double digit points. Justin Simon and Marcus LoVett added 13 and 14 points, respectively. Simon, a transfer from Arizona, garnered his first career double-double by landing 12 (defensive) boards on top of his 13 points. Through three games, the Red Storm rank seventh in the Big East, with 78.7 PPG, and 236 points overall.

The Johnnies have had three convincing wins at home, as the most recent one came against the Nebraska Cornhuskers of the Big Ten Conference in the Gavitt Tipoff Games. Chris Mullin now has a "soft" matchup versus the Division II Long Island school, Molloy Lions. The Lions and Red Storm have never met before, so this could be what some critics are calling "a trap game" for the team from Queens. If the Red Storm defeat the Lions at home tomorrow night, this would be the first time they would start 4-0, since the last year of the Steve Lavin Era in the 2014-15 season.

Chris Mullin has led this team to become a defensive powerhouse up to date, where the Johnnies are actually able to close out these games. The Red Storm lead the Big East in scoring defense, where the opponent has only averaged 57.3 PPG, and have only allowed a total of 172 points. Also, steals (9.0 SPG), and turnover margin (+8.0) have been the biggest strength for this young team from Queens. Tennessee transfer Tariq Owens, leads the Big East in blocked shots with 10.

Scouting the Molloy Lions, they come into Queens dropping two on the road. But most notably, dropping three of the first four total to lead them into Carnesecca with only a single victory on the schedule to this point. Molloy has averaged 63.5 PPG, with Staten Island native Nick Corbett leading the way with 19.0 PPG. Opponents have averaged 73.2 PPG against the Lions. Not a good turnout. Molloy's most recent loss was against Dominican College yesterday 76-65.

Potential Starting Lineup for Molloy Lions

G- Curtis Jenkins

G- Nick Corbett

G- Nolan Kelly

F- Justin Caldwell

F- Josh Dennis

Potential Starting Lineup for St. John's Red Storm

G- Shamorie Ponds

G- Marcus LoVett

G- Justin Simon

F- Marvin Clark II (leads Big East in 3pt%)

F- Bashir Ahmed

The game can be seen on FS1 beginning at 6:30pm. The matchup can also be heard on WSJU St. John's University Radio Network with coverage beginning at 6:00pm on the TuneIn app. Tipoff is set for 6:30pm.

Joseph Jarzynka