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Creighton hands St. John’s its third consecutive loss, 94-82

Johnnies third three-game losing streak of the season

NCAA Basketball: St. John at Creighton Steven Branscombe-USA TODAY Sports

The Johnnies could not handle Creighton’s balanced shooting dropping their third straight game, 94-82.

On paper, Creighton should have been a match-up where St. John’s could have taken advantage. The Bluejays only play seven guys and they lack a traditional big due to injury. However, even before they joined the Big East, Creighton has been a school great at shooting the three.

This season, the Bluejays are first in the Big East in three-point shooting percentage converting over 36% of their three point attempts, so if St. John’s could keep the three-point efficiency contained to some extent or get the Bluejays short rotation in foul trouble, the Johnnies would have a chance to take advantage of its deeper bench.

That did not happen in the first half, as Creighton’s offense put together a tutorial on spacing and ball movement. The ball whipped around the perimeter for the Bluejays and consistently found the open man with 12 of Creighton’s 19 made fields goals coming off an assist.

Creighton’s high assist percentage helped the Bluejays shoot particularly well from deep, shooting 8 of 19 from beyond the arc. Additionally, Creighton’s lack of turnovers - only 4 in the first half - prevented the Johnnies from getting into transition.

Largely operating in the half court, St. John’s did enough to stay in the game going into halftime, shooting 39% from the field and also only turning the ball over 4 times. However, St. John’s had just over half as many assists in the half as Creighton with 7, and were a worse 5 of 17 from deep.

What largely kept St. John’s in the game was second chance points. The Red Storm grabbed 11 offensive rebounds, with Marcellus Earlington snagging 4 of them, and collectively converted them into 11 second chance points.

For those reasons, the Johnnies went into the half down to Creighton, 47-37.

The Johnnies were able to get Creighton's lead down to 4 points early in the second half, and for most of the next ten minutes, the Red Storm kept it close.

As far as getting Creighton into foul trouble, St. John’s Rasheem Dunn attempted the Johnnies’ first free throws in the game five minutes into the second half. Creighton finished the game having committed 14 fouls.

Creighton began to noticeably pull away with about five minutes left in the game. After a half of Creighton expanding their lead to 10 or so points followed by the Red Storm cutting that lead back down, the Bluejays knocked down five consecutive shots with five minutes to go increasing Creighton’s lead to its largest of the night, 15 points, effectively ending the ballgame.

Despite the disappointing outcome, Marcellus Earlington had a career night for the Red Storm. Earlington scored 25 points (10/17 FG, 3/4 3PT) and grabbed 10 rebounds, both career highs.

Creighton by and large maintained their lead, and the Johnnies picked up another loss, 94-82.

St. John’s comes back to its Queens campus to play against the Providence Friars on Wednesday at 8:30.

St. John’s Red Storm

Marcellus Earlington (double-double): 25 points (10/17 FG, 3/4 3PT), 10 rebounds, 1 assist

LJ Figueroa: 12 points (4/7 FG, 2/3 3PT), 3 assists, 1 turnover

Mustapha Heron: 12 points (3/8 FG, 3/6 3PT), 4 rebounds, 2 assists

Creighton Bluejays

Marcus Zegarowski: 23 points (9/16 FG, 3/7 3PT), 7 rebounds, 4 assists, 2 turnovers

Denzel Mahoney: 18 points (7/10 FG, 3/5 3PT), 3 rebounds, 1 assists, 2 turnovers