St. John’s gets a win against DePaul with the help of Malik Ellison
St. John’s got itself a win for its final game of the season inside Carnesecca Arena against DePaul, 78-68, and used a career day from guard Malik Ellison in front of a sold out crowd on Monday, January 16.
Ellison drained seven of his 10 tries from the field, including a 5-of-6 effort from beyond the arc. He finished the game with a career-high 23 points, along with four assists in 33 minutes of action. He was not the only Johnny in double figures.
Shamorie Ponds sunk 11 of his 14 points in the second stanza and finished 4-of-8 from the three-point line. He also added a game-high six assists with three steals. Bashir Ahmed also scored 14 points for the Johnnies, while Tariq Owens had 10 points and nine rebounds. Owens also tallied four blocks.
St. John’s made 12 of its 22 attempts from downtown, making it the team’s highest single game It also marked the third time this season that the Red Storm has shot 50 percent or better from three. The Johnnies have been showing how much hard work the team and coaches have been putting in since this win has now surpassed the team’s win total from last season with more than a third of the season still remaining.
The Red Storm made its first four shots and jumped out to a 15-8 lead with less than five minutes into the first half. Ellison made all three of his attempts from beyond the arc during that time period. Red Storm teammates Ponds and Federico Mussini connected on back-to-back triples, opening up a nine point lead against the Blue Demons, 23-14, with 9:26 remaining in the half.
The Johnnies would hold the Blue Demons scoreless for the remainder of the first half, as the Red Storm scored the final 11 points to take a 40-29 lead into half time. DePaul cut the St. John’s lead to six, 53-47, with under nine minutes left to play in the game, but Ponds responded with a three. The rookie then hit another 3-pointer less than a minute later to bring the lead back to double digits.
The Blue Demons would cut the deficit to seven, 63-56, two minutes after, but the Johnnies answered with a 10-2 run to raise the advantage to 15, 73-58, the largest lead of the game, with only 2:24 left to go.
The Red Storm returns to action on Sunday afternoon, traveling to Newark for a 12 p.m. showdown with the Pirates of Seton Hall.