72-64 Victory In Centennial Season Opener Over St. Francis
Going into the game St. John's posted an impressive 84-16 all-time record on opening day games in its first 100 seasons. St. John's legendary and hall of fame coach Lou Carnesecca was on hand for the season opener. "It's good to see so many young kids playing the game," said Carnesecca when he was asked about what he likes the most about the game today. "The faces change, but the spirit is still there."
We asked Carnesecca his thoughts about the St. John's centennial. "I wasn't there when it started. I think it is a wonderful, wonderful celebration." Carnesecca coached St. John's from 1965-66 to 1969-70 and again from 1973-74 to 1991-92. He coached for 24 seasons at St. John's with his teams making post-season play in every one of those seasons. St. John's was 112-65 in regular season play and 13-11 in tournament play under Carnesecca. Carnesecca was named Big East Coach of the Year three times and selected six times as Metropolitan Area Coach of the Year.
St. John's began the regular season following an impressive 95-66 win over Molloy College last week, in which freshmen Justin Burrell from The Bronx (15 points) and Malik Boothe from Rosedale Queens, (10 points) were standouts.
St. Francis Terriers came into the game following a come from behind 62-59 win in its season opener over the Hartfort Hawks the previous week.
S. Girls' Volleyball Of the nine St. John's players who saw action five are freshmen. Sophmore Larry Wright led The Red Storm in scoring with a career high 19 points tying St. Francis' star Robert Hines for game high laurels in 32 minutes of action. Three freshmen stood out in the win over St. Francis. Burrell was an important factor in St. John's exhibition win over Molloy last week, scoring 12 points, tallied three steals, and 2 rebounds in 24 minutes of play. D. J. Kennedy, who was filling in for Anthony Mason Jr. who missed the season opener with an ankle sprain, scored 9 points led both teams in rebounds with 14 and was credited with two steals.
rebounds in the game) with 13:52 left in the game.
the game. St. John's enjoyed its biggest lead in the game (13 points) with 4:09 to go in the game on a 3 pointer by senior Eugene Lawrence from Brooklyn giving the Red Storm a 65-52 lead.
In the closing seconds of play Jamaal Womack hit a three pointer to bring St. Francis within 3, 67-64 when Eugene Lawrence passed the ball to teammate Burrell who slam dunked the ball and hung on the rim for what
seemed like a lifetime but short enough not to earn a technical foul. The play put St. John's up by 69-64. Burrell was fouled on the play by Robert Hines putting Burrell at the line with a chance to put the game out of reach. He hit the shot and St. John's led 70-64. The Terrier's Marcus Williams missed a three pointer with the rebound snatched by Kennedy who was fouled by Womack for his second personal and the teams 11th. Kennedy made both foul shots rounding out the scoring and giving St. John's a 72-64 season opening win.
St. John's Coach Norm Roberts told reporters, "St. Francis was scrappy. It was a good game." When asked what he thought about playing five freshmen: "I never think about putting in freshman, I don't worry about how old they are."
Roberts has recruited some of the most talented players from local high schools, and so far they have not disappointed Coach Roberts or the Red Storm basketball fans.
St. John's is scheduled to play three more nonconference home games, Sacred Heart (Tuesday, 11/20), Fairleigh Dickinson (Sunday, 11/25) and LIU on (Wednesday 11/28) before heading to Florida to face Miami on December 2. All of these home games will begin at 7:30PM at Carnesecca Arena on the St. John's Campus, located on Union Turnpike near the intersection of Utopia Parkway in Jamaica Estates, Queens.
St. John's basketball games can be heard on WFAN 660-AM and WBBR 1130-AM; weekly results of the games are on WVOX 1460-AM. Check the daily newspapers for television coverage. For tickets, call 888-GO-STORM or go to www.redstormsports.com.