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Adam Zagoria covers basketball at all levels. He is the author of two books and an award-winning journalist whose articles have appeared in ESPN The Magazine, SLAM, Sheridan Hoops, Sports Illustrated, Basketball Times and in newspapers nationwide.
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Friday / August 18.
  • Without an Injured Marcus LoVett, Shamorie Ponds Goes Off for 25 in St. John’s Win

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    Without an injured Marcus LoVett, Shamorie Ponds went off for St. John’s on Monday night.

    With Lovett in a walking boot because of a sprained ankle suffered during practice, Ponds scored a career-high 25 points in a 76-70 win over Cal State Northridge at Carnesecca Arena.

    “I don’t think all that much changed,” said Ponds, the former Brooklyn Thomas Jefferson star. “I just tried to be more aggressive and be a leader. I wanted to be more vocal, get all of my teammates involved, and dig out a win.”

    Head coach Chris Mullin said the loss of LoVett — who will get an MRI on Tuesday — impacted his rotation.

    “When you take a starter and one of your best players out of the lineup, it affects rotation, your starting lineup and guy’s roles,” he said. “So I thought from that standpoint, a bunch of guys did a good job stepping up and taking a little more responsibility than they have the previous eight games.”

    Ponds connected on 10 of his 18 shots from the floor while also dishing out a game-high five assists.

    Three other Johnnies finished in double figures, led by Bashir Ahmed with 13 points and a game-high eight rebounds.  Eight of Ahmed’s 12 points came from the free-throw line, including a number of key makes down the stretch.

    Federico Mussini made four first-half triples to finish with 12 points, while Malik Ellison added 10 points, five assists and four boards.

    “[Ponds] played really well and picked up the slack,” Cal State Northridge coach Reggie Theus said. “He’s a tough guard because he can get to the rim but also shoots really deep. He seemed poised. Five assists and only one turnover is poised. I can appreciate the effort he put in with Marcus LoVett not playing tonight. You lose by six on the road, against a Big East team, but for us and for our growth it’s a good game for us.

    “I enjoyed watching the way St. John’s played tonight. I’ve known Chris [Mullin] for a long time and Mitch [Richmond] for a long time. It’s kind of nice to see what those guys are doing. For a while, I was one of the only guys that was coaching in college that played that long in the NBA. I know the battle that they are going through right now, with a young team trying to figure things out. I think the future is really bright here. I know those two guys know basketball and they have really good people around them.”

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    Adam Zagoria is a New York Times contributor and Basketball Insider who covers basketball at all levels. He is the author of two books and is an award-winning journalist whose articles have appeared in ESPN The Magazine, SLAM, Sheridan Hoops, Sports Illustrated, Basketball Times and in newspapers nationwide. A veteran Ultimate Frisbee player, he has competed in numerous National and World Championships and, perhaps more importantly, his teams won the Westchester Summer League (WSL) championships in 2011 and 2013. He lives in Manhattan with his wife and children.