NEW YORK DAILY NEWS
Sunday, December 13, 2015, 5:00 PM
St. John’s hasn’t started Big East conference play just yet, but they beat an old rival at the Garden as the Johnnies stunned Syracuse 84-72 Sunday afternoon.
Freshman point guard Frederico Mussini scored 17 points to lead the way for St. John’s. Durand Johnson, Amar Alibegovic and Kassoum Yakwe all chipped in 15 points for the balanced Red Storm, which shot a blistering 30 of 61 from the field and 12 of 24 from 3-point range.
Mussini drilled five 3-pointers on seven attempts as St. John’s exploited Syracuse’s zone. The Johnnies totaled 22 assists on their 30 field goals.
“This was amazing. This was the best win of my life,” Mussini said afterward. “Playing (at the Garden) is really unbelievable. With the crowd, it’s something special… It’s an amazing experience.”
“We knew we had to move the ball a lot to make them move. If we did that we knew there would be open space at some point,” said first-year head coach Chris Mullin. “When we’re open we’re allowed to shoot so that’s what we did.”
Mullin is now 2-0 at the Garden after beating St. Francis there last week. The Johnnies are 7-3 overall. Big East play begins with Creighton on New Year’s Eve.
St. John’s freshman point guard Federico Mussini reacts to one of his five 3-pointers as he helps the Johnnies to a shocking 84-78 win over Syracuse at the Garden Sunday.
Ron Mvouika (r.) who has a team-high five assists for St. John’s in a win over Syracuse on Sunday, screams out as the game goes final.
“This (win) is really important for the guys. It shows them that there is more there, (but) we have to do it together,” Mullin said. “I truly believe this team can keep getting better.”
For Syracuse, it is their second straight loss to a former Big East opponent. They fell to Georgetown last Saturday. With Sunday’s loss, the Orange have lost 3 of 4 and are now 7-3 as they continue to play without suspended coach Jim Boeheim, serving his third game of a nine-game ban. The suspension, the longest ever given to a head coach by the NCAA, was handed down for a number of infractions, including academic misconduct and failure to comply with the NCAA drug testing policy.