Central Connecticut fell at St. John's, 80-55, on Tuesday at Carnesecca Arena in men's basketball action. A second half run helped the Red Storm pull away from the Blue Devils. CCSU slipped to 0-3 with the loss, while St. John's moved to 2-0.
The Blue Devils return to action on Friday night with a 7:00 p.m. game at East Carolina.
The Red Storm opened the scoring and accounted for the first five points of the night, but Central would respond and take an 11-9 lead. Junior Deion Bute would get a layup and junior Austin Nehls hit a three-pointer to give CCSU its only lead of the opening half at the 15:08 mark.
St. John's would take control with a 20-2 run over a 7:17 span. After a three-pointer by sophomore Tyson Batiste at the 10:46 mark, the Red Storm would score nine unanswered points beginning with a three-pointer by Marvin Clark II.
Freshman Kashaun Hicks would hit a layup to breakup the SJU run, but Bryan Trimble Jr. and Shamorie Ponds hit consecutive three-pointers to start a run of 11 straight points by the Red Storm. A jumper by Trimble at the 3:29 mark would give SJU its largest lead of the period at 41-19.
The Blue Devils would close the gap at halftime by outscoring the Red Storm, 8-2, over the final 3:03. Junior Eric Bowles hit a pair of foul shots and Bute had back-to-back jumpers, before senior Mustafa Jones had a layup with 0:06 left in the half to make it 43-27.
Central outscored SJU, 10-5, to open the second half and cut the deficit to 11 points. Bute worked for back-to-back layups and cut the St. John's lead to 48-37 with 16:00 remaining and forced a timeout by the home team.
That would be the closest CCSU would get as Marcus LoVett would end the run by the visitors and St. John's would use a 16-0 run over a span of 5:04 to pull away. A layup by Justin Simon would give the Red Storm their largest lead of the night at 74-46 before Jones and Nehls hit back-to-back three-pointers to end the decisive spurt.
Central shot 41.7 percent (20-of-48) for the game from the floor, but was hampered by 21 turnovers. The Red Storm held a 38-29 edge on the glass and shot 27-of-58 (.466) for the game.
Ponds led all scorers with 21 points, while Simon added a double-double with 12 points and 11 rebounds.
The Blue Devils return to action on Friday night, Nov. 17, with a 7:00 p.m. game at East Carolina.