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St. John’s Enjoys Thrilling Win Against Providence

(Photo by Double G Media)

(Photo by Double G Media)

In a huge win for the Red Storm on Wednesday night, Providence got only their second home-loss handed to them with a 91-86 victory for St. John’s. The game featured 15 lead changes and 13 ties, at The Dunkin’ Donuts Center but the Johnnies proved that they were able to take it home.

Not only did the Red Storm win, but the team also secured its best record at the middle of conference play since the 2012-13 season. Marcus LoVett scored a game-high 26 points on 10-of-15 shooting along with Shamorie Ponds putting up 22 points. Ponds also made the final six points of the game at the free throw line.  The duo has scored 20 or more points in a game eight times this season.

Malik Ellison and Bashir Ahmed were the two other Johnnies to finish the game with double figures, with Ellison scoring 15 points with six rebounds and a two of steals and Ahmed adding up 15 points. Tariq Owens and Darien Williams both scored four points each and also denied Providence on two-straight possessions when the Friars could have taken back the lead with less than a minute to go.

The Red Storm, as a team, shot 52 percent from the floor (32-of-61) and made 10 of their 21 tries from deep. The Friars (13-9, 3-6) shot 62 percent from the floor, a season-high, but were inability to convert from the free throw line, making just 18 of their 27 shots.

At the beginning of the contest, it was back and fourth between the two teams. St. John’s held a 9-8 lead with in the first six and a half minutes n the game. The Johnnies went on an 8-3 spree, leading by six, 17-11. Federico Mussini converted on a triple and before the ball went in, Kassoum Yakwe drew a foul underneath.

With 8:42 left in the contest, Providence scored six to tie the game at 17 and recaptured the lead on a three-point play from Friar Alpha Diallo, 23-22. With the Johnnies down by one, the team made an 8-1 run, taking a 30-24 advantage. St. John’s broadened its lead during the last few minutes of the first half, along with a buzzer beating three-pointer by LoVett. The Red Storm took a nine-point lead into the locker room, 46-37.

The Friars opened the second half on a 22-7 run to move ahead 59-53 within six minutes. Less than a minute later, facing that same six-point deficit, 61-55, Ponds and Owens connected on an alley-oop, cutting Providence’s lead to four. St. John’s outscored Providence 13-4 during the next five minutes. Ellison tied the game at 65 with a pair of free throws, with Ponds, putting the Red Storm up by three, 68-65, with a triple.

After Diallo tied the score at 68 with a three-point play, there were ties and lead changes between both teams on nearly every possession. Over the next five minutes, neither team led by more than two points as the lead changed eight times. With St. John’s trailing by one, 86-85, with just over a minute remaining in the second half, Ponds went to the bucket and was fouled.  He made both of his shots, which put the Red Storm up by one, 87-86, with on 1:13 left.

The Friars tried to feed the ball inside to Emmitt Holt, but Owens rejected Holt’s shot attempt. LoVett’s jumper was blocked by Diallo, which forced a shot clock violation that gave Providence one more shot. The Friars then called a timeout. Cartwright tried to make a shot but Williams forced a turnover with five seconds to left in the game. Ponds then made four free throws to win the game.

The Red Storm returns to action on Sunday evening at “The World’s Most Famous Arena,” playing host to No. 24/22 Xavier at 6 p.m. on FS1 and 970 AM WNYM.  Prior to the men’s contest, Joe Tartamella and the St. John’s women’s basketball team will host Xavier at 3 p.m. inside “The Mecca of College Basketball.”

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