74
TF 8
FINAL
End
2nd
FS1
Wed Mar. 13
9:32pm
BONUS
82
TF 10
ML: +191
STJOHN -5, O/U 153.5
ML: -231
DEPAUL
STJOHN

No Text

Ponds, St. John's snap skid, 82-74 vs DePaul in Big East

NEW YORK (AP) Facing the possibility of taking a four-game losing streak into Selection Sunday, Shamorie Ponds and St. John's ran away from DePaul to give their NCAA Tournament hopes a boost.

Ponds scored 18 points, had seven assists and led a second-half surge as the Red Storm got a much-needed 82-74 victory in the first round of the Big East Tournament Wednesday night.

''Definitely important for us,'' Ponds said. ''I felt like with this group we could do something special.''

The seventh-seeded Red Storm (21-11) will face No. 2 seed Marquette in the third game of the quadruple header at Madison Square Garden on Thursday night. St. John's avoided being swept three games by the 10th-seeded Blue Demons (15-15) this season, burying DePaul in the second half.

Eli Cain led DePaul with 23 points before fouling out late.

St. John's seemed positioned to coast into the conference tournament with a high seed and an NCAA bid pretty much locked up just two weeks ago. The Johnnies proceeded to finish the regular season with three straight losses, including a nine-point loss at DePaul. With a chance to be the third seed at MSG, St. John's slid all the way into a high-stakes opening night matchup.

St. John's coach Chris Mullin, looking for his first NCAA appearance in his fourth season leading his alma mater, said the slump was no reason to panic.

''Look at some of our losses, we didn't play 40 minutes of bad basketball,'' Mullin said. ''It was stretches that things happen in different times of those games that affected that particular game.''

The Johnnies led by four at the half behind Justin Simons' 12 points, but not until Ponds became more assertive did they put some distance between themselves and the Blue Demons.

''I think that had a huge impact and that's usually our game plan,'' Mullin said of Ponds' play.

Ponds came off a screen to hit a 3 with 15:22 left in the second half and give St. John's its first double-digit lead at 50-40. A minute later LJ Figueroa made a 3 from the wing in transition and the lead was 53-42. A traditional three-point play from Ponds off an offensive rebound increased the lead to 12 with 12:31 left. After DePaul cut the lead to eight, Ponds dropped in a 3 to make it double-digits again.

Simon finished with 18 points and Mustapha Heron had 18 points and seven rebounds for St. John's.

BIG PICTURE

DePaul: Max Strus, the Blue Demons' leading scorer at 19 points per game, was held to 14 on 4-of-12 shooting after scoring 43 in DePaul's victory 10 days ago against St. John's. Strus saw a lot of Simon, the Big East defensive player of the year.

''They had a great game plan,'' Strus said. ''He's a great defender and shut me down today.''

St. John's: The Red Storm don't have a starter taller than 6-foot-7 and are at their best when they can get out in transition. They had 15 fast-break points against DePaul, offsetting getting outrebounded by the Blue Demons for the third time this season.

''I also thought in the second half we did a little better job in the open floor,'' Mullin said. ''We got some stops and got some run outs.''

UP NEXT

DePaul: The Blue Demons are probably done for the season, but for the first time since 2006-07 they end the regular season without a losing record.

''I think we shifted the culture into a more positive direction,'' Cain said.

St. John's: The Red Storm swept Marquette this season, a couple of victories that help make their case for an NCAA at-large bid.

''We've just got to have the same game plan that we beat them guys at their home and our home,'' Ponds said.

---

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Key Players
M. Strus
S. Ponds
35.2 Min. Per Game 35.2
19.8 Pts. Per Game 19.8
5.2 Ast. Per Game 5.2
4.3 Reb. Per Game 4.3
42.1 Field Goal % 46.0
36.9 Three Point % 36.3
81.6 Free Throw % 84.6
+ 2 Devin Gage made jump shot 4.0
  Defensive rebound by Max Strus 13.0
  Justin Cole missed jump shot 15.0
+ 1 Max Strus made free throw 40.0
  Shooting foul on Marcellus Earlington 40.0
+ 2 Max Strus made layup, assist by Devin Gage 40.0
  Defensive rebound by Femi Olujobi 48.0
  LJ Figueroa missed 2nd of 2 free throws 48.0
+ 1 LJ Figueroa made 1st of 2 free throws 48.0
  Personal foul on Max Strus 48.0
+ 3 Max Strus made 3-pt. jump shot, assist by Flynn Cameron 53.0
Team Stats
Points 74 82
Field Goals 28-65 (43.1%) 31-67 (46.3%)
3-Pointers 4-20 (20.0%) 7-22 (31.8%)
Free Throws 14-22 (63.6%) 13-15 (86.7%)
Total Rebounds 40 30
Offensive 11 6
Defensive 29 24
Team 0 0
Assists 14 12
Steals 3 9
Blocks 0 5
Turnovers 13 8
Fouls 19 20
Technicals 0 0
23 PTS, 5 REB, 1 AST
18 PTS, 6 REB, 4 AST
12T
away team logo DePaul 15-15 353974
home team logo St. John's 21-11 394382
Team Stats
away team logo DePaul 15-15 78.4 PPG 40.5 RPG 14.3 APG
home team logo St. John's 21-11 77.1 PPG 35.2 RPG 13.9 APG
Key Players
11
E. Cain G 13.1 PPG 3.1 RPG 3.4 APG 42.4 FG%
2
S. Ponds G 19.7 PPG 4.1 RPG 5.1 APG 45.3 FG%
Top Scorers
E. Cain G 23 PTS 5 REB 1 AST
S. Ponds G 18 PTS 4 REB 7 AST
43.1 FG% 46.3
20.0 3PT FG% 31.8
63.6 FT% 86.7
Starters PTS REB AST FG 3PT FT PF MIN STL BLK TO OREB DREB
E. Cain 23 5 1 7/15 1/6 8/12 5 37 1 0 1 1 4
D. Gage 19 5 2 9/20 0/2 1/2 1 33 0 0 4 2 3
M. Strus 14 5 1 4/12 2/7 4/4 4 39 0 0 0 2 3
P. Reed 8 4 0 3/7 1/3 1/2 2 18 0 0 0 1 3
F. Olujobi 6 5 1 3/5 0/0 0/2 3 28 0 0 2 1 4
Starters PTS REB AST FG 3PT FT PF MIN STL BLK TO OREB DREB
E. Cain 23 5 1 7/15 1/6 8/12 5 37 1 0 1 1 4
D. Gage 19 5 2 9/20 0/2 1/2 1 33 0 0 4 2 3
M. Strus 14 5 1 4/12 2/7 4/4 4 39 0 0 0 2 3
P. Reed 8 4 0 3/7 1/3 1/2 2 18 0 0 0 1 3
F. Olujobi 6 5 1 3/5 0/0 0/2 3 28 0 0 2 1 4
Bench PTS REB AST FG 3PT FT PF MIN STL BLK TO OREB DREB
J. Butz 2 14 5 1/3 0/0 0/0 3 26 1 0 3 4 10
L. Shreiner 2 1 3 1/2 0/1 0/0 1 14 1 0 3 0 1
F. Cameron 0 1 1 0/1 0/1 0/0 0 5 0 0 0 0 1
J. Coleman-Lands - - - - - - - - - - - - -
D. Hall - - - - - - - - - - - - -
J. Malonga - - - - - - - - - - - - -
P. Xidias - - - - - - - - - - - - -
C. Gordon - - - - - - - - - - - - -
G. Maslennikov - - - - - - - - - - - - -
M. Sullivan - - - - - - - - - - - - -
J. Diener - - - - - - - - - - - - -
Total 74 40 14 28/65 4/20 14/22 19 200 3 0 13 11 29
Starters PTS REB AST FG 3PT FT PF MIN STL BLK TO OREB DREB
J. Simon 18 6 4 7/15 0/1 4/5 1 38 2 2 3 2 4
M. Heron 18 7 0 6/11 1/2 5/5 3 38 2 1 1 0 7
S. Ponds 18 4 7 7/11 3/4 1/1 2 36 3 0 1 1 3
L. Figueroa 14 6 0 6/12 1/4 1/2 2 33 1 1 0 3 3
M. Clark II 10 5 1 4/12 2/9 0/0 4 27 1 0 3 0 5
Starters PTS REB AST FG 3PT FT PF MIN STL BLK TO OREB DREB
J. Simon 18 6 4 7/15 0/1 4/5 1 38 2 2 3 2 4
M. Heron 18 7 0 6/11 1/2 5/5 3 38 2 1 1 0 7
S. Ponds 18 4 7 7/11 3/4 1/1 2 36 3 0 1 1 3
L. Figueroa 14 6 0 6/12 1/4 1/2 2 33 1 1 0 3 3
M. Clark II 10 5 1 4/12 2/9 0/0 4 27 1 0 3 0 5
Bench PTS REB AST FG 3PT FT PF MIN STL BLK TO OREB DREB
S. Keita 2 1 0 1/1 0/0 0/0 3 9 0 1 0 0 1
G. Williams Jr. 2 1 0 0/1 0/0 2/2 1 4 0 0 0 0 1
J. Cole 0 0 0 0/1 0/0 0/0 0 1 0 0 0 0 0
B. Trimble Jr. 0 0 0 0/2 0/2 0/0 3 11 0 0 0 0 0
J. Roberts 0 0 0 0/1 0/0 0/0 0 2 0 0 0 0 0
M. Earlington 0 0 0 0/0 0/0 0/0 1 1 0 0 0 0 0
J. Camus - - - - - - - - - - - - -
E. Wright - - - - - - - - - - - - -
B. Lawrence - - - - - - - - - - - - -
D. Caraher - - - - - - - - - - - - -
Total 82 30 12 31/67 7/22 13/15 20 200 9 5 8 6 24