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St. John’s: Shamorie Ponds leads team to 77-73 win over St. Joseph’s (Highlights)

Behind 28 points from Shamorie Ponds, the St. John’s Red Storm defeated St. Joseph’s 77-73 to get their record to 10-2

  • St. John’s 77 (10-2)
  • St. Joseph’s 73 (5-6)
  • Final, Box Score
  • Mohegan Sun Arena, Uncasville, Connecticut

At the Basketball Hall of Fame Holiday Showcase in Connecticut, St. John’s and St. Joseph’s played a fast-paced entertaining game where neither team led by more than six points. With the game tied at 68 with 4:59 to go, St. John’s scored nine of the last 14 points to win the game, 77-73.

Without Marcus LoVett in the lineup for the fifth straight game (sprained left knee), it was up to Shamorie Ponds once again to be the big-time scorer and he did just that. The St. John’s point guard had 28 points (9-for-15 shooting) to go with seven rebounds and four assists in the win.

Outside of Ponds, the guards for St. John’s had good all-around performances. Bashir Ahmed had 16 points and shot 50 percent from the floor while Justin Simon was an assist away from a triple-double (11 points, 11 rebounds, 9 assists).

On the defensive side, St. John’s was once again forcing their opponent into a ton of turnovers. Normally, St. Joe’s averages about nine turnovers per game. But, today, St. John’s caused them to turn the ball over 19 times with each starter having at least two turnovers.

If there was one negative from the defense, its that the Red Storm gave up a lot of three-point attempts. The Hawks took 33 shots from behind the arc in the game and made nine of them. One player, forward Taylor Funk, had 15 of those 33 attempts and was left open on plenty of occasions. Fortunately, for St. John’s, Funk only made five of them.

In the first half, St. Joe’s was 6-for-18 beyond the arc and they did a good job being patient for their shot attempts. At the same time, St. John’s deserves credit for forcing turnovers on drives to the basket and getting blocked shots. Tariq Owens had five of the team’s eight blocks and he now has 11 blocks in the last two games.


The turning point of this game came in the second half when St. Joseph’s went on a 15-2 run out of the half to turn a five-point deficit into an eight-point lead (56-48) with 14:51 left. But, as they have done a lot this year, St. John’s answered with a 6-0 run, including four points from Ahmed.

On the St. Joseph’s side, their leading scorer, guard Shavar Newkirk, did not start the game because he was late to a film session. Despite not starting, he still made his impact on the game with 26 points on 11-for-20 shooting. In the frontcourt, they dominated on the boards as they got 18 rebounds from Pierfrancesco Oliva.

At the end of the day, St. John’s fans should absolutely be happy with the team going 10-2 out of the conference and not having a bad loss on their NCAA Tournament resume. True, they don’t have that one signature win yet, but they still have a chance to get some of those in the Big East now that conference play is about to begin.

Next Game: St. John’s will begin Big East play on December 28 at Carnesecca Arena when they take on the Providence Friars (8-3). You can watch the game at 7 p.m ET on FSN.

I graduated from St. John's University with a degree in sports management. I previously wrote about the Johnnies at Rumble In the Garden.