Yes, it was only an exhibition game but St. John’s look impressive in a blowout win over fellow local Baruch.
The St. John’s Red Storm men’s basketball team played their first competitive game of the 2016-2017 season on Halloween.
It was only an exhibition game but the Red Storm looked really good, blowing out the Baruch Bearcats 99-49 at Carnesecca Arena.
It was a total contrast last year’s ugly, 32 point exhibition loss to Division II St. Thomas Aquinas. Six of the current St. John’s players took part in that infamous game last season.
Early in the game, it was an offensive struggle for St. John’s. They started the contest going 0-for-6, committed four turnovers and trailed 12-7 early in the game.
However, St. John’s picked it up offensively. They outscored Baruch 43-14 to close the first half and never looked back in the second half. Junior college transfer and Bronx native Bashir Ahmed was one the biggest offensive weapon for St. John’s, scoring 19 points on 7-for-11 shooting and getting to the rim virtually at will.
Other Red Storm contributors were sophomore guard Frederico Mussini with 21 points on 8-of-12 shooting, point guard Marcus LoVett Jr had 14 points, five assists, and only one turnover. Freshman Shamorie Ponds and Richard Freudenberg both had 12 points. Ponds had five steals and Freudenberg chipped in with four assists.
St. John’s played good team ball throughout. They had 20 assists on 38 field goals. Their defense was sharp throughout as well forcing 21 turnovers and limiting Baruch to only 26 percent shooting.
No offense to Baruch but I know we shouldn’t put too much stock in the opening game, particularly an exhibition match but compared to how St. John’s fared this time last year, this was definitely an encouraging sign and hope for a lot of improvement.
Head coach Chris Mullin hopes for the same.