Wednesday night, the St. John’s Men’s Basketball team was able to pass by Marquette, 82,72, at Madison Square Garden. The team was led by a career-high 23 points from Bashir Ahmed, as well as six rebounds. Shamorie Ponds and Marcus LoVett put on a great performance for the team as well.
Ponds scored 18 points, grabbed 7 boards, had five assists and had four steals. LoVett put up 15 of his 17 points in the second half and shot 6-of-9 from the floor and 3-of-5 from three-point range. He also added five assists and three steals.
The Red Storm, as a team, shot 48.5 percent from the floor and made 10 of their 24 attempts from the three-point line. This marked the 12th time this season that the Johnnies have hit 10 or more triples in a game. Kassoum Yakwe was also giving the team his best with a season-high 14 points, along with six rebounds and three blocks. Tariq Owens may not have touched the net but he was able to tie a career-high with 11 rebounds. Malik Ellison finished the contest with eight points, three assists and three rebounds.
Both teams had a great start by shooting 50 percent from the floor, tying the score with 12 points each within the first five and a half minutes. A few minutes after, the Golden Eagles moved ahead by six, 23-17, but the Red Storm responded with 7 points of its own. Ponds scored five of those seven points for St. John’s.
With the Red Storm leading 38-37 with just 1:25 to play in the first half, they closed the period on a 7-0 run, with Ponds scoring all seven of those points. This gave the team a 45-37 halftime advantage. Ellison and LoVett helped move the Johnnies ahead by 11, 51-40, with less than a minute into the second half, by draining three’s.
Down 11, Marquette was able to pull within four, 55-51, with 16 minutes left on the clock. Markus Howard, Haanif Cheatem and Andrew Rowsey all hit threes for the Golden Eagles during those minutes.
The Red Storm noticed their lead crumbling and decided to take action. Ellison started off the run with a layup just before Ahmed shot six in a row. LoVett then scored the game’s next five points, extending the St. John’s run to 13-0 and giving his team a 68-51 lead, which would be the largest of the game, with 12:08 remaining. Marquette responded to St. John’s strong run by shooting o10 in a row of their own to cut its deficit to just seven, 68-61, three and a half minutes later.
Federico Mussini, who scored six points, helped bump the lead back to 13 for St. John’s, 74-61, by making his second triple of the game, along with LoVett adding another three. The Golden Eagles were able to cut the deficit down to single digits, 78-70, with about three minutes left in the game, but the Johnnies brought the lead back to as many as 16 and recorded their first win of the year at “The Mecca of College Basketball.”
The Red Storm returns to action on Saturday evening, traveling to The City of Brotherly Love for an 8 p.m. showdown with No. 4/4 Villanova at The Wells Fargo Center. The game will be broadcast nationally on CBS Sports Network and can be heard in the New York Area on 570 AM WMCA.
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