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St. John’s Still Falls Short After a Second Half Come Back

After a snow storm struck New York City this weekend, the previously planned Madison Square Garden St. John’s game against Marquette on the 23rd was postponed and relocated to Carnesecca Arena in Queens for the afternoon of January 24.

After a horrible first half, the Red Storm had a furious second half rally back from a 20-point deficit but still fell short as they dropped a 78-73 loss to Marquette (13-7, 3-5). Federico Mussini helped St. John’s with their comeback effort, scoring all of his 19 points in the second half. Marquette freshman Henry Ellenson had a double-double and finished with 16 points and 18 rebounds to help the Golden Eagles.

Durand Johnson scored back-to-back 3-pointers to get the Red Storm only within three with 41 seconds left of the second half. Mussini ran the ball up court with no timeouts remaining, but his shot was short. Ellenson sank a pair of free-throws with one tick on the clock, sealing the win. Mussini had his fifth-straight double-figure scoring performance. Johnson torched the net for 11 of his game-high 20 points and collected six rebounds, three assists and a game-high three steals.

The Red Storm, only behind by eight at the half, expanded their deficit to 20 in less than four minutes in the start of the second half. Halfway through the second half, St. John’s unleased a comeback to cause commotion with the Golden Eagles. They got within six with 9:50 to play after an 11-3 run. Mussini scored five points during this, which included a trifecta that made it 53-47. Marquette committed 13 of its 22 turnovers in the second half.

Malik Ellison held a 7-0 run with a jumper and tip-in bookending Mussini’s first 3-pointer. He also did all his scoring in the final 20 minutes of the game. He ended with nine points, shooting 3-for-5 from the field and 3-for-4 at the free-throw line. Kassoum Yakwe drew a charge on Ellenson and finished with a layup on the opposite end of the court. Sandy Cohen III had another turnover in the backcourt leading to Mussini’s third 3-pointer, which made it a two-point game with six minutes to play.

Duane Wilson had 12 of his 17 points in the first half, helping Marquette have a 31-23 advantage into the break. Amar Alibegovic made his second-straight start for the Red Storm and scored eight of his 10 points in the opening stanza. Yakwe had another signature performance against Marquette, finishing with seven points, eight rebounds and a career-high seven blocks.

St. John’s fell behind by eight with 2:17 left. Johnson’s 3-pointers got the Red Storm back up but they just couldn’t quiet catch up.

St. John’s takes on Seton Hall on Wednesday at the Prudential Center in Newark, N.J. Tip-off is scheduled for 7 p.m. on FS1 and 570 AM WMCA.

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