NEW YORK DAILY NEWS
Updated: Monday, December 14, 2015, 7:21 PM
St. John’s hasn’t started Big East conference play just yet, but it beat an old rival at the Garden as the Johnnies stunned Syracuse, 84-72, Sunday afternoon.
Freshman point guard Federico 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. “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.
“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.”
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.
It was the second straightloss to a former Big East opponent for Syracuse, which fell to Georgetown last Saturday. Syracuse (7-3) has lost 3 of 4 as it continues to play without suspended coach Jim Boeheim, serving his third game of anine-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.