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Pirates guard suspended after reported DWI

Aside from continued prep for Friday's regular season opener against St. Peter's, the men's basketball team may have a major off-the-court problem to deal with.

Just days before his official debut for the Pirates, highly touted transfer guard Keon Lawrence, 22, was arrested after driving drunk on the wrong side of the Garden State Parkway, according to multiple reports.

The reports state that the junior caused a two-car accident in the express lanes of the Parkway near Sayreville, about 35 minutes south of the campus, early Monday morning.

Pirates' head coach Bobby Gonzalez also announced today that Lawrence is suspended indefinitely from the basketball team. He offered a brief statement on the incident.

"As you may know, Keon Lawrence was involved in an automobile accident early Monday morning," Gonzalez said. "First and foremost, we are relieved and gratified that all of the parties involved were not more seriously injured. We will respond accordingly when all of the facts of this matter have been collected. Effective immediately, Keon Lawrence has been suspended from the team indefinitely."

The story first broke late Monday night via North, the website of The (Bergen) Record, and

A comment from a New Jersey State Police officer also says that Lawrence was driving with a suspended license and two outstanding traffic warrants.

Lawrence and the other individual in the car accident, 56-year-old Kenneth Smith of Newark, were treated at Robert Wood Johnson Hospital for minor injuries.

Sgt. Stephen Jones of the New Jersey State Police said, in a phone interview posted on, that the blood-alcohol test was conducted at the hospital and not the scene of the accident. This is contrary to the initial report from The Record.

Lawrence denied that he was charged with driving while intoxicated during a phone interview with the publication on Monday.

The will keep you updated on any developments with this story. The Pirates' first game of the season takes place at Prudential Center this Friday at 7 p.m.

Brian Wisowaty can be reached at

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