The Central Connecticut State menâ€™s basketball team was defeated at St. Johnâ€™s 80-55 on Tuesday night at Carnesecca Arena, as head coach Donyell Marshall continues to be absent under a suspension along with assistant Anthony Anderson, â€śdue to a confidential personal matter currently under investigation by the university,â€ť according to a CCSU statement.
Second-year head coach Marshall and Anderson have not been with the team since Nov. 2 while under investigation.
The university has released no further information, although published reports have indicated the suspension may be the result of an argument between the two.
Last night, a second half run helped the Red Storm pull away from the Blue Devils as CCSU slipped to 0-3, while St. Johnâ€™s moved to 2-0.
Junior Deion Bute led Central with 19 points and nine rebounds, while senior Mustafa Jones added 13 points.Â
The Red Storm opened the scoring and accounted for the first five points of the night, but Central responded to take an 11-9 lead. Junior Deion Bute got a layup and junior Austin Nehls hit a three-pointer to give CCSU its only lead of the opening half at the 15:08 mark.
St. Johnâ€™s took control with a 20-2 run over a 7:17 span. After a three-pointer by sophomore Tyson Batiste at the 10:46 mark, the Red Storm scored nine unanswered points, beginning with a three-pointer by Marvin Clark II.Â
Freshman Kashaun Hicks hit a layup to break up the SJU run, but Bryan Trimble Jr. and Shamorie Ponds hit consecutive 3-pointers to start a run of 11 straight points by the Red Storm. A jumper by Trimble at the 3:29 mark gave SJU its largest lead of the period at 41-19.
The Blue Devils closed the gap at halftime by outscoring the Red Storm, 8-2, over the final 3:03. Junior Eric Bowles hit a pair of foul shots and Bute had back-to-back jumpers, before senior Mustafa Jones had a layup with 0:06 left in the half to make it 43-27.Â
Central outscored SJU 10-5 to open the second half and cut the deficit to 11 points. Bute worked for back-to-back layups and cut the St. Johnâ€™s lead to 48-37 with 16:00 remaining and forced a timeout by the home team.
That was the closest CCSU got, as Marcus LoVett ended the run by the visitors and St. Johnâ€™s used a 16-0 run over a span of 5:04 to pull away.
Ponds led all scorers with 21 points, while Simon added a double-double with 12 points and 11 rebounds.
The Blue Devils return to action on Friday night with a 7 p.m. game at East Carolina.