Justin Simon (left) and Shamorie Ponds (right) led the Red Storm against the Blue Devils
Nov. 14, 2017
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QUEENS, N.Y. - The St. John's men's basketball team used another balanced scoring attack to improve to 2-0 on the young season, as four players finished in double figures in an 80-55 win for the Red Storm over Central Connecticut at Carnesecca Arena.
Shamorie Ponds led all scorers and narrowly missed a double-double, tallying 21 points and nine rebounds for the Red Storm (2-0). The sophomore from Brooklyn also added four points and three steals in 32 minutes of action.
Justin Simon registered his first career double-double in just his second game as a Johnnie, setting new career-highs with 12 points and 11 rebounds. The sophomore transfer from Arizona also recorded three steals and three assists.
Marcus LoVett netted all 15 of his points in the second half, shooting 6-of-7 from the floor in the latter stanza and carrying the Red Storm during a stretch when it appeared that the Blue Devils might work their way back into the contest.
Bashir Ahmed tallied 13 points on the game, while Bryan Trimble Jr. made all three of his tries from the floor in the first half, including a pair of triples, to finish with eight points.
As a team, the Red Storm forced 21 turnovers for the second-straight game, turning those miscues into 31 points.
The Red Storm got off to a quick start against CCSU (0-3), jumping out a 7-2 lead less than three minutes into the action on a layup from Marvin Clark II.
Despite surrendering numerous turnovers, the Blue Devils stayed in the contest thanks to hot shooting, making each of their first five tries from the floor and taking an 11-9 edge with five minutes gone in the game.
From there, the Johnnies rattled off 10-straight, five of which came off the hands of Simon. The sophomore guard had an acrobatic tip-in and drained corner three to cap the tear.
Stellar shooting kept the Blue Devils close, as CCSU made seven of its first nine to maintain just a four-point deficit, 21-17, at the under-12 media timeout of the first half.
Over the next six minutes, however, the Red Storm blew the game open with a 20-2 run, taking a 41-19 advantage with less than four minutes remaining in the opening period. Trimble paced the Johnnies with eight points during that stretch, hitting two shots from distance and a long two.
After whittling the deficit down to 16 by the intermission, CCSU narrowed the Red Storm advantage to just 11, 48-37, in the opening four minutes of the latter stanza.
The Blue Devils battled to keep the game relatively close over the next few minutes, trailing 58-46 near the 12-minute mark of the second half. Following a media timeout, the Red Storm rattled off a 16-0 run, moving ahead by 28 points and putting the game out of reach with six and a half minute to play.
St. Johns will have a short turnaround before it takes the hardwood again at Carnesecca Arena, as the Johnnies welcome Nebraska to Queens as part of the Gavitt Tipoff Games on Thursday night. The contest, which will be broadcast nationally on FS1, will commence at 6:30 p.m.