Snap Judgments: Marquette at St. John’s (02.10.18)

Robert Cole/ALOST


akoiki-passport2 – by Adesina O. Koiki
A Lot of Sports Talk editor-in-chief


NEW YORK — Is it possible that, in the conference that’s ranked first in the nation in the computers, the most dangerous team in the league at the moment resides at the very bottom of it?

That may very well be the case, as St. John’s completed one of the best eight days in the history of the program by knocking off Marquette 86-78 on Saturday afternoon at Carnesecca Arena in Queens, continuing to build off back-to-back wins over No. 1 Villanova on Wednesday and against then No. 4 Duke last week at Madison Square Garden.

In this record-setting week for the Red Storm, it was fitting that guard Shamorie Ponds would set a record of his own, as his 44-point explosion against the Golden Eagles today marked the most points ever scored by a St. John’s player in a single game at Carnesecca Arena, breaking the old record of late St. John’s great Malik Sealy, who scored 43 in a game against Central Connecticut State in 1990.

“It’s indescribable,” Ponds said after the game. “It’s unbelievable out there.”

Unbelievable might be the best word to describe Ponds’ play over the last week, as he dropped 33 points – 24 in the second half – against the Blue Devils before scoring 26 more points as the Red Storm went on the road to knock off No. 1 Villanova, their first win over a top-ranked team since the Johnnies’ famed Final Four season of 1985. Against NCAA Tournament hopeful Marquette, Ponds scored 27 of his points in the second half, hitting nine of his 12 shots from the field. Overall, he was 16-of-23 from the field while hitting four three-pointers.

It is also beyond belief that the Red Storm, just nine days ago, were owners of an 11-game losing streak and an 0-11 record in conference play. Before last Saturday, St. John’s had not recorded a win since five days before Christmas. Now, it is undoubtedly the hottest team in the country’s best conference.

With his performance, only two players in St. John’s history have score more points in a single game than Ponds: Harry Boykoff (45 & 54) and Bob Zawoluk (65).

“I mean it is a blessing,” said Ponds. “All the great players who came through this university, for my name to be up there, it’s a dream come true.”

Before Ponds took over the second half, he and Marquette guard Andrew Rowsey went toe-to-toe as both filled it up in the first 20 minutes. It actually was Rowsey who led all scorers in the first half with 19 points, including hitting three 3-pointers and making six of his seven foul shots. (Rowsey was fouled twice in the first half while shooting a three-pointer.)

Rowsey ended up leading all Marquette scorers with 34 points while his backcourt mate, Big East leading scorer Markus Howard, scored 18 points. Forward Sam Hauser also scored 18 points for the Golden Eagles, hitting four of six from three-point range.

*Editor’s note: Above the byline and story is the photo gallery from Saturday afternoon’s game, with all photos taken by our senior photographer, Robert Cole. After clicking on the first photo to enlarge the picture, make sure to press the left and right arrow buttons to scroll through the rest of the pictures. There are 16 pictures in total.

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