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Cal State Northridge vs. St. John’s 2016 final score: Red Storm elude upset-minded Matadors with 76-70 win

The Johnnies escape with a win in Queens.

NCAA Basketball: CSU Northridge at St. John Anthony Gruppuso-USA TODAY Sports

St. John’s escaped a late rally by Cal State Northridge to win their second game in a row on Monday night with their 76-70 victory over the Matadors.

Despite the charge by CSUN, St. John’s was able to hold strong to their lead thanks to free throw shooting towards the end of the game. They struggled on the whole, shooting 68.2 percent on the night from the line, but were able to sink their crucial bunnies in the final moments.

To no surprise, Shamorie Ponds led the way for St. John’s on Monday night. Without Marcus LoVett in the lineup due to a sprained ankle, Ponds took the reins and helped guide the Red Storm offense all night. The preseason Big East Freshman of the Year scored 25 points on 18 shots and went 3-for-7 from the 3-point line. Ponds added five assists, three boards and a steal in 35 minutes of work.

Federico Mussini would join Ponds in double figures with 12 points, all coming on 3-pointers. Bashir Ahmed also chipped in 13 points of his own but had to do it the hard way after shooting just 2-for-9 from the field on the night. Ahmed was stout in getting to the line though and made eight of his 12 free throw attempts Monday night, adding eight blocks and an assist as well to his line.

A spirited effort for CSUN was not enough to take the Red Storm down. Four players for the Matadors finished in double figures with Darin Johnson finishing with a team-high 16 points. Tavrion Dawson, Rakim Lubin and Kendall Smith scored 10, 13 and 10 respectively.

The win puts the Red Storm at 4-5 on the year prior to their cross-borough matchup with the Fordham Rams later this week on Thursday.