11/10/2009 11:14 AM ET
Lawrence arrested, suspended after DWI
Seton Hall transfer guard drove wrong way on Garden State
By Adam Zagoria / SNY.tv
Keon Lawrence, who played for Missouri before transferring, has put his season in doubt. (AP)

Seton Hall guard Keon Lawrence of Newark was arrested early Monday morning for driving the wrong way on the Garden State Parkway and causing a two-car accident.

Lawrence, 22, faced two outstanding traffic warrants and hit a car driven by Kenneth Smith, a 56-year-old Newark man. The accident occurred at about 3 a.m. near Sayreville, N.J.

"At this point he's been charged with DWI and driving with a suspended license and then released on his own recognizance pending a new court date for both of the warrants," Sgt. Stephen Jones of the New Jersey State Police said early Tuesday morning in a phone interview.

The story was first reported by The Bergen Record.

Seton Hall coach Bobby Gonzalez issued a statement Tuesday saying Lawrence had been suspended indefinitely.

"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."

Jones confirmed The Record report that both Lawrence and Smith were taken to Robert Wood Johnson Hospital and treated for injuries.

"They were treated for non-life threatening injuries," Jones said.

The Record reported that a blood test was conducted at the scene and determined that Lawrence's blood-alcohol level exceeded the legal limit of .08, but Jones disputed that, saying Lawrence was arrested before the results of the test were known.

"The results are not in," Jones said. "In this case he's charged before we knew the exact blood-alcohol level."

Jones added that the test also didn't take place at the scene of the accident.

"It wasn't conducted at the scene. It was conducted at the hospital," he said.

Jones said it was possible, but not likely, that Lawrence would face jail time. It depends on what the prosecutor opts to do.

"If you look at the penalties for DWI, generally you're looking at a fine and a period of license suspension," Jones said.

"If he is going to be charged with a criminal statute that covers causing an accident with injuries while intoxicated, then there's jail time as an option with that charge."

The 6-foot-2, 177-pound Lawrence transferred from Missouri prior to last season and sat out the 2008-09 season as per NCAA regulations.

He averaged 11.0 points, 3.3 rebounds and 2.4 assists in all-32 games as a sophomore.

He is one of three transfers who became eligible this year, along with Herb Pope (New Mexico State) and Jeff Robinson (Memphis). Robinson can suit up beginning in December.

Seton Hall opens its season Friday against St. Peter's at the Prudential Center.

Adam Zagoria is a regular contributor to SNY.tv. Read his blog at ZagsBlog.com and follow him on Twitter at http://www.twitter.com/AdamZagoria.
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