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Who needs the three? St. John’s dominates paint, crushes Molloy 71-43 (Highlights)

Despite getting off to a slow start, St. John’s picked up the pace in the second half of their win over Molloy to get to 4-0.

  • Molloy 43 (1-4)
  • St. John’s 71 (4-0)
  • Final, NCAA, Box Score
  • Carnesecca Arena, Queens, NY

Tonight, St. John’s took on Division II opponent Molloy College in their tuneup game before a trip to Orlando and the AdvoCare Invitational. It’s a game where the Red Storm would be mocked if they lost. Well, they got off to a slow start, leading only 21-18 after the third media timeout of the first half.

But from that point on, the Red Storm were able to take complete control of the game. They outscored the Lions 43-22 in the second half as they rolled to a 71-43 win. With the victory, St. John’s moves to 4-0 for the first time since 2014-15, Steve Lavin’s last season as head coach.

Unlike the first three games, the Red Storm struggled to hit their three-point shots as they went 4-for-22 for the game and only two of them came from a starter—Shamorie Ponds. But, give credit to St. John’s for realizing that wasn’t working and adjusting their gameplan.

Since the threes were not falling, St. John’s attacked the paint and it worked to their advantage. They were able to get 40 of their 71 points in that area of the floor. Marvin Clark Jr. led the way for the frontcourt players in scoring with 10 points and was 4-for-7 from the floor.

Despite the lack of three-point shots falling, St. John’s still had three players score in double figures. Ponds and Bashir Ahmed each had a team-high 14 points and both of them made five field goals apiece. In addition to his 14 points, Ahmed got to the line more than anyone on St. John’s (5-for-8 on his free throws).

As has been seen in the first three games, Justin Simon has found a way to do a little bit of everything for the Red Storm. Tonight, he was just shy of a triple-double as he had seven points, 11 rebounds, nine assists, and a pair of steals.

The story of the night for St. John’s was their defense, which has been a common theme to begin the year. Not only did they outrebound Molloy 40-31, but they were able to force 21 turnovers and block six shots. Marcus LoVett led the way for the Johnnies with four of the team’s 11 steals and Tariq Owens had three blocks in the win.

Next Game: St. John’s is heading down to Orlando, Florida to play in the AdVocare Invitational, which begins Thursday afternoon. Their first opponent will be the Oregon State Beavers (2-1). You can watch that game on ESPNU at 2 p.m ET after Missouri takes on Long Beach State.

I graduated from St. John's University with a degree in sports management. I previously wrote about the Johnnies at Rumble In the Garden.