Red Storm Remains Undefeated with 79-56 Win over Nebraska|
Nov. 16, 2017
QUEENS, N.Y. - Welcoming its first high-major opponent to Carnesecca Arena, the St. John's men's basketball team responded with its most dominant effort of the young season, downing Nebraska, 79-56, on Thursday night in The Gavitt Tipoff Games.
With the win, the Red Storm remains undefeated on the campaign and improves to 3-0 for the second time in three years. The Huskers (2-1) suffered their first loss of the year.
Shamorie Ponds eclipsed the 20-point mark for the second-straight contest, netting a season-high 22 points to go along with seven rebounds, five assists, two steals and just one turnover in 33 minutes.
Justin Simon recorded his second double-double in as many tries, tallying 13 points and 12 rebounds, all of which came on the defensive glass, to go along with a game-high four steals. Simon set new career highs in all three of the aforementioned categories against the Huskers.
Tariq Owens proved a force to be reckoned with inside, grabbing nine rebounds and tying a career-high with six blocks in addition to six points.
Led by Simon and Owens, the Johnnies controlled the glass, grabbing 50 rebounds in a contest for the first time since last year's Gavitt Tipoff Games at Minnesota.
As a team, the Red Storm dominated the Huskers inside, scoring 44 points in the paint to the Nebraska's 16. The Johnnies also took care of the ball on Thursday, surrendering just nine turnovers.
Trailing 5-2 after a 1-for-6 start from the floor, the Red Storm scored the game's next nine points to take an 11-5 lead with just over five minutes gone in the contest.
The Red Storm extended its run as high as 15-3, moving ahead by nine, 17-8, on an acrobatic layup from Ponds with 11:36 to play in the first half.
Led by Ponds, the Johnnies continued to press their case, as the sophomore from Brooklyn scored six unanswered to make it 32-20 in favor of the Red Storm at the final media timeout of the opening period.
Despite scoring only five points over the half's closing four minutes, the Red Storm defense locked down and held the Huskers to just four points, as the Johnnies entered the locker room with a 37-24 advantage.
After missing its first attempt of the second stanza, the Red Storm converted on six straight, including three tries from downtown, to keep the Huskers at bay.
Leading by 13, 56-43, with just over 13 minutes to go in the second half, LoVett kicked off a sequence that saw the Red Storm score six unanswered and take a 19-point edge less than a minute later. Aside from his bucket, LoVett's intensity on the defensive end of the floor brought the Carnesecca faithful to their feet and set the tone for the rest of the run.
From that point, the Red Storm occupied the driver's seat for the remainder of the game, punctuating the victory with a trio of highlight reel dunks from Ahmed and Simon in the waning minutes of the win.
St. John's returns to action on Monday, closing out its four-game homestand with a 6:30 p.m. tilt against Molloy. The game will be broadcast live on FS1 and 970 AM WNYM.