St. John's 90, Sacred Heart 55: Shamorie Ponds nets 22 (Highlights)
(Photo by Mark LoMoglio/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images)

After a sluggish start, Shamorie Ponds (22 points) and the St. John’s Red Storm blistered Sacred Heart to the final score of 90-55.

  • St. John’s 90 (7-1)
  • Sacred Heart 55 (3-5)
  • College Basketball, Final, Box Score
  • Carnesecca Arena, Queens, New York

Tariq Owens and Shamorie Ponds led the way as the St. John’s Red Storm dismantle the Sacred Heart Pioneers in the second half of the ball game. Saturday afternoon at Carnesecca Arena, after a very poor start to the game and a lackluster finish to the first half, St. John’s would come out surging to begin the second period.

On the day the Joe Lapchick Statue was unveiled on campus, the Red Storm would not disappoint. Marcus Lovett was a late scratch after suffering an ankle injury. The Pioneers came out strong early, scoring the first five points of the game. St Johns seemed to be off rhythm on offense missing early opportunities on the pick-and-roll to Owens and lack of finishing at the rim. Ponds would eventually get things started with a steal and a slam by Simon.

The first half was a bit of a rollercoaster for the Johnnies. Starting very slow, the Johnnies would get going before allowing Sacred Heart to go on an 8-1 run to tie the game at 32 with less than three minutes to go in the half. The score at the half was 36-34, with the Johnnies clinging on to a small lead.

To contribute to the Johnnies woes on the offensive end was Shamorie Ponds with an extremely poor first half from the floor, shooting 3-8 from the field and 0-4 from beyond the arc. The team as a whole shot 4-15 from deep. On the defensive end, they continued to struggle on the perimeter on defense giving up 7-on-11 attempts.

It wasn’t all doom and gloom for the Johnnies in the opening half. The Storm forced 13 turnovers in total. Their defense and persistence would be key in bouncing back after the halftime intermission.

Chris Mullin and his squad came out swinging to start the half and never let up. Early on, they would go on a 15-2 run eventually getting it to 35-6. With Owens and Ponds dominating offensively and defensively, the Red Storm would keep piling it on.

Tariq Owens, in his first start of the season, put up a stat line of 12 points, 11 boards and four blocks. This was his first double-double of the year. Ponds would add 22 points of his own to go with four steals and seven assists. The team was clicking on all cylinders.

St. John’s would finish the game outscoring the Pioneers by 54-21 in the second half — easily, the Johnnies best half of ball on the young season.

With Lovett on the mend, we saw increased minutes from the likes of Alibegovic and Trimble Jr. The bench would contribute with 15 points, three blocks and three steals. They also out-rebounded Sacred Heart 36-28 as the interior play continues to improve. Defense, again, was the key factor of the game, forcing 25 turnovers and holding SHU to 0-10 in the second half from deep. Also, St. John’s would continue their year long block party with eight swats. They currently rank first in the Big East in blocks per game and rank tied for tenth nationally.

The team needs to keep improving on the offensive end looking forward but today was a solid start. Their perimeter defense has improved all season but still has room to grow. If they continue to force the other teams into mistakes, press the tempo and keep improving on the offensive end, this team will see itself in the Big Dance come March.


The St. John’s Red Storm now turn their sites to Grand Canyon. They travel to Phoenix to face the Antelopes in a late night match-up. GCU is 4-1 on the season and first in the WAC. This will be the first real test for the  Antelopes. The game is slated to start at 11:30 p.m. ET so get your coffee ready Red Storm Nation.