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Mussini Scores a Game-High 18 Leading St. John’s to Defeat UMBC, 75-53

Anthony Gruppuso-USA TODAY Sports

Anthony Gruppuso-USA TODAY Sports


Last night, at Carnesecca Arena, in the Red Storm’s homeland contest of the 32nd annual Jim Maui invitational, Freshman Federico Mussini scored a game-high 18 points and had six assists to help St. John’s win its second straight victory, against UMBC, defeating them 75-53. Graduate students Ron Mvouika contributed 16 points and Durand Johnson put up 15 points, shooting a combined 13-of-19 from the field.

The Red Storm opened the game just 1-of-6 from the floor as both teams struggled early. At the 15:24 mark, the game was tied at just 2-2 until St. John’s made its next five consecutive field goals. Darien Williams’ 3-pointer opened up a 13-6 advantage and Red Storm never fell behind. Amar Alibegovic and Mvouika added more 3s as St. John’s led by as many as 12 points in the first half.

The Red Storm lead at the break with a 9-point lead which was cut to two, 33-31, within three minutes into the second half as the Retrievers made four of their first five shots. Johnson then fired back by scoring eight-straight points for the Red Storm. The Johnnies then gained a 7-point lead, 41-34, at the 13:42 mark.

Later, Johnson then made a fast break layup before a no-look pass from Mussini, which set up Mvouika for a corner 3-point shot that gave St. John’s a 12-point lead, 52-40, with only 8:52 left.  St. John’s finished the game with a 22-point lead. The jet featured Mvouika’s fourth 3-pointer of the night and a fast break slam-dunk by Christian Jones. Jones finished with the game with seven points on 3-for-6 shooting, seven rebounds and two steals. Freshman Yankuba Sima put up eight points and nine rebounds.

St. John’s ended the game with a 51.9 (27-of-52) field goal shooting percentage after a hot second half by going 15-of-26 from the floor (57.7 percent). Mussini banged out all eight free-throw attempts to secure an 82.4 percent (14-of-17) effort at the line. Mvouika was on fire when making four 3-pointers and shooting 6-for-7 from the floor. Johnson scored all of his points in the second half, making 7-of-10 field goal attempts in the stanza.

Rodney Elliott and Joe Sherburne of UMBC both posted 16 points each for UMBC, who are now 0-2. The Retrievers had a 26.9 percent (18-of-67) shooting mark and 27.6 percent (8-of-29) from distance. Cody Joyce put up seven points and had a game-high 10 rebounds.

St. John’s will play against Rutgers Thursday Night at Carnesecca Arena for the inaugural Gavitt Tipoff Games. It will be nationally broadcasted at 7 p.m. on FS1 with Tim Brando and Bill Raftery on the call.

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