Red Storm Easily Take Care of DII Local Molloy Lions

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

Jamaica, NY--An undefeated streak for the St. John's Red Storm (4-0), lives on as Shamorie Ponds led the way to give his squad a 71-43 massive victory heading into Florida next week.

The first time the Johnnies began 4-0, was the final year of the Steve Lavin Era, which was 2014-15, when they went 11-1 in non-conference play and was the last time they appeared in the NCAA March Madness Tournament.

Beginning with the first half, the Johnnies started off a bit slow, where Shamorie Ponds, along with Justin Simon, both looked to not put 150% effort into the beginning of the matchup, which the entire coaching staff was not too happy about. This outcome gave the Lions a 9-0 run in the first few minutes of the game, making Chris Mullin give his Red Storm a reality check, that they are not the greatest team in the country. "I thought our energy was down. We were pretty reactive on defense, and not the aggressor, counterpunching somewhat."

The Johnnies faced their largest deficit of the season, by being down only five points. They then went on an 8-0 run midway through the first half, to quiet the critics, and finish the first half with 28 points, compared to the counterpart's 21. Ponds and Ahmed led the way with six and five points respectively. 

In the locker room during the half, Marvin Clark II told the media, "Good environment, coach didn't get down on us. He just told us that we have to come out with a fresh start, fresh half and just play a lot better defense."

In the second half, the Johnnies didn't turn back out of the locker room, as they extended the lead all the way to 28, as they defeated the Molloy Lions 71-43. Ponds and Ahmed netted 14 points in the game, along with Michigan State transfer Marvin Clark II, who paced his squad with 10 points of his own, going four of seven from the field. Arizona transfer Justin Simon came four points short of a triple double, as he had 11 boards, and nine assists on the night. Simon, the sophomore California native, has put up double digit rebounds in the last three games.

The Johnnies shot 44.6% from the field in the game, along with achieving 40 points in the paint, against a very small Molloy Lions squad. The Johnnies bench, which consisted of Bryan Trimble Jr, Amar Alibegovic, Kassoum Yakwe, Justin Cole, and Jay Camus, contributed a combined 18 points in the victory tonight. Only stat holding the Johnnies back, was 3-point percentage, as they shot four for 22 and 18.2% total.

Bashir Ahmed told the media about today's slow start, "Any team, no matter who we are going against, we have to bring it. Whether it is a big team or a small team, we have to come out with the same intensity, the same mindset, and just play hard."

The Johnnies next contest begins on Thanksgiving, as they begin a weekend at the ESPN Wide World of Sports Complex versus Oregon State at 2:00pm on ESPNU.

Joseph Jarzynka