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St. John’s blows by Loyola (MD) 76-55

The Johnnies are off and running in 2018.

NCAA Basketball: Loyola-Maryland at St. John Nicole Sweet-USA TODAY Sports

Shamorie Ponds picked up right from where he left off, scoring 20 points in the St. John’s Red Storm’s 76-55 win on Tuesday.

The Johnnies defeated Loyola (MD) to earn their first win of the season. The win means that St. John’s still hasn’t lost an opener in each of the last five seasons, their last loss coming at the hands of the Wisconsin Badgers all the way back on November 8, 2013.

Ponds’ 20 points led both sides to no surprise. He shot 9-for-15 from the field and overcame a 2-for-7 effort from downtown to get to that plateau. Justin Simon and newcomer Mustapha Heron joined Ponds in double figures. Heron, formerly of the Auburn Tigers, got 15 points in his first game with the Red Storm. He shot 5-for-10 from the field, 2-for-2 from deep and 3-for-4 from the free throw line, as well. Heron also had seven rebounds, the second-highest mark on either side behind St. John’s’ LJ Figueroa, three assists but did commit five turnovers.

Simon meanwhile had 10 points while shooting 4-for-9 from the field and 2-for-2 from the free throw line. He finished with six boards and two assists to go along with those 10 points.

The Johnnies also got a big contribution from Mikey Dixon. Dixon came off the bench to score 13 points in 23 minutes of action. The new addition to the Johnnies by way of Quinnipiac shot 4-for-9 from the field and 3-for-4 from the free throw line. The aforementioned Figueroa had nine points in 26 minutes of action and added eight boards and three assists, too.

It was a solid night for St. John’s on the whole. They had 17 bench points, 36 points in the paint and 26 points off of turnovers. They probably could cut down on the turnovers though, as they committed them 22.2 percent of the time through their 81 possessions on the night.

St. John’s now turns their attention to the weekend, when they host the Bowling Green Falcons of the MAC on Friday night.