Thursday, November 5, 2015

St. John's opens Chris Mullin era with 32-point loss to Division II school

Chris Mullin knew his first year at St. John's was going to be rough, but the new head coach might be calling his mentor and former coach Lou Carnesecca out of retirement after how bad it started Wednesday night in Queens.

Mullin opened his Red Storm coaching career with with an embarrassing 90-58 exhibition loss to Division II St. Thomas Aquinas.

That's right. A Big East team lost to tiny St. Thomas Aquinas by 32 points.

But the former St. John's and NBA star took the loss in stride.

"You have to give the other team a lot of credit," Mullin said of the exhibition match. "They played hard, they played together and aggressive. This will be a tremendous teaching tool. A lot of our guys have not played in a college basketball game, and we tried to emulate that in practice and the scrimmage, but it's different. We have to learn from this."

St. Thomas Aquinas shot 61.8 percent in the first half and led 50-34 at the break. The Spartans finished at 48 percent and had only 14 turnovers. The Red Storm shot 36.7 percent and had 27 turnovers against the Spartans full-court press.

Justin Reyes had 25 points and 12 rebounds for the Spartans, and Chaz Walter added 18 points.
Federico Mussini led St. John's with 16 points. 

St. John's will face Sonoma State on Saturday in another exhibition game, then open the regular season Nov. 13 against Wagner.

While St. Thomas goes on to face those real powerhouses on their schedule: St. Anselm, Felician and Daemen.

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