Johnnies Fall to Rutgers in Charity Game

Piscataway, NJ--Leading the Red Storm in points last season for Shamorie Ponds was a dream come true for him, as he broke the rookie record with 573 total points as a freshman, he continued right where he left off in the exhibition match-up between Rutgers and the Red Storm. Unfortunately, the result wasn't what most had hoped for, with an 80-78 nail-biting loss to DeShawn Freeman's Rutgers Scarlet Knights.

Once a fierce Big East rival, this is only the second time the two teams have met since Rutgers moved all of their sports to the Big 10 conference. A meeting in the Gavitt Tipoff Games in the first season of the Chris Mullin era with a 61-59 win at Carnesecca Arena. But times have changed since then. The Johnnies are a smaller team, and the Rutgers basketball team has fallen off the radar in recent years.

A game that was played for the American Red Cross Disaster Relief Fund, all of the proceeds will go to the victims of Hurricanes Irma and Harvey. The game generated 1,551 fans in the RAC at the home of the Rutgers Scarlet Knights. In the charity exhibition, which served as a good "road game for the players to experience before the season begins" according to head coach Chris Mullin, the Johnnies played exceptionally well, and shot decently from the field going 45%. Something that will be an issue moving forward this season without their three point specialist in Federico Mussini, will be the three. It showed in this game as they only shot 6 for 23 and equaled out to 26%.

Brooklyn native and second year sophomore Shamorie Ponds shot 10 for 21 from the field, and tallied 25 points in the teams valiant effort in an attempt to go 2-0 in exhibition play. Cannot always work out that way. Three other Johnnies scored double digits in the contest, as senior Bashir Ahmed had 11 points on the night, with Justin Simon and Marcus LoVett having 13 and 16 points respectively. The Johnnies lost a close one with a last second rebound tip in by Issa Thiam after a missed shot from downtown by senior Bashir Ahmed on the opposite end of the court.

Head Coach Chris Mullin spoke after the game, "Offensively we were fine. I think we did a pretty good job on offense. We had a few unforced turnovers, but I'm not really about our team offensively. It's really just maintaining our presence defensively." This comes after the Scarlet Knights had a 19-6 run in roughly four minutes of play in the second half.

Junior forward Kassoum Yakwe had four personal fouls in 11 minutes and contributed two assists and four boards as well. Could we potentially see a trend here? UPDATE- Ankle injury (day to day)

St. John's opens up their season to non conference opponent New Orleans Privateers in their first ever meeting against the two. The game can be seen and heard on FOX College Hoops and WSJU Radio.

Joseph Jarzynka