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St. John’s loses first game of the season to Missouri as rally falls short

LAKE BUENA VISTA, Fla. — Despite a career high 31 points from Shamorie Ponds, St. John’s suffered its first loss of the season to Missouri, 90-82, on Friday in the semifinals of the Advocare Invitational in Orlando.

“I thought we got off to a bad start,” Red Storm coach Chris Mullin said. “[But we] didn’t let it affect our attitudes. We got back in it before the end of the half . . . but they came out on the winning end.”

St. John’s forward Marvin Clark II was whistled for a technical foul in the first half after arguing with one of the officials about a foul. Clark scored just three points and fouled out after 12 minutes.

Marcus LoVett chipped in 14 points. The Storm was attemping to go 6-0 for the first time since 2009-10.

Jordan Barnett had 19 points, nine rebounds and three blocks, Kassius Robertson added 17 points for Missouri (5-1).

The Tigers led by as many as 16 points in the first half but St. John’s rallied to take a 58-50 lead with 12:20 left in the game. Then Missouri hit 10 of its final 12 shots from the floor and went on an 11-2 run to take the lead for good.

“[St. John’s] showed a lot of resiliency and toughness,” Tigers coach Cuonzo Martin said. “Marcus LoVett, the way he puts pressure on the ball, that is impressive. Ponds, the way he scores in so many ways . . . Very talented team; great test for us.”

Ponds has scored 20 or more points in four games this season. He had seven assists, five rebounds and only one turnover. St. John’s will play Central Florida in the third-place game Sunday afternoon. — AP

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