Big East Tournament
(AP Photo/Julio Cortez)

The St. John’s Red Storm had an off night in the Big East Tournament Quarterfinals as they were blown out by the Marquette Golden Eagles.

Ricky Keeler

  • St. John’s 54 (21-12)
  • Marquette 86 (24-8)
  • Big East Tournament, Round 2, Final, Box Score
  • Madison Square Garden, New York, NY

In their first two meetings against Marquette this year, the St. John’s Red Storm always had an answer for Markus Howard. This time, the Big East Player of the Year had other ideas.

Howard finished with 30 points, seven rebounds, and four assists as the Golden Eagles routed St. John’s by a final score of 86-54. Howard had 25 combined points in the prior two meetings.

Howard did not have a point in the first seven minutes of the game. However, he found a way to get open as Marquette was able to switch Justin Simon away from him. At that point, he could either drive the ball to the basket or shoot the ball from beyond the arc.

In fact, he was fouled shooting a three-pointer on three different occasions, which led to him shooting 11-for-11 from the foul line.


Even when Howard wasn’t on his game, Marquette would either get the ball to Theo John in the low post (nine points, three rebounds) or Sacar Anim and Sam Hauser would get open looks from the perimeter. As a team, Marquette shot 50.9 percent from the floor and they were 11-for-23 from three-point range.

As for St. John’s, they could not make a basket for long stretches of time in this one. The Red Storm shot 20-for-61 from the floor (32.8 percent) and they were only 3-for-20 from downtown. This allowed Marquette to pack the paint and it made St. John’s take off-balance, mid-range shots for most of the night.

After trailing by 12 at the half, St. John’s got the deficit back down to six thanks to Simon making plays on defense and causing the Red Storm to get transition points. He finished with 14 points, eight rebounds, and three steals. With the score 43-37, Marquette went on a 16-2 run to take a 20-point lead and put the game out of reach.

It was an off night for the St. John’s offense and some of their key stars. Shamorie Ponds did not make a single three-pointer and was 4-for-14 from the floor (13 points) and Marvin Clark II was scoreless for the second time this year against Marquette. Also, LJ Figueroa had just five points and he only made one of his six shot attempts.

While St. John’s did find a way to force 15 turnovers, they were unable to capitalize on most of those opportunities as they either took a bad shot or gave the ball right back to Marquette on a turnover of their own.

Marquette was able to snap their four-game losing streak and they will await the winner of tonight’s final Big East quarterfinal matchup between Georgetown and Seton Hall. With Howard finding his form, it is tough to stop this team when he gets going and St. John’s found that out the hard way.

Meanwhile, St. John’s will now sit back and wait for Selection Sunday. While they finished with 21 wins this year and had five Quadrant 1 wins, they do have bad losses on their resume and they lost five of their last seven games to end the year.

Their bubble case will be debated over the next couple of days for sure. It is safe to say a 32-point loss will not be a good look for the committee. They will find out soon if they have done enough.

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