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St. John’s falls short against Marquette, 73-71

After erasing a double-digit halftime deficit, Red Storm cannot get over the hump at the end of the game.

Wendell Cruz

St. John’s dropped a heartbreaker to Marquette, 73-71. The Johnnies fall to 7-7, and lose to Marquette at home for the first time in five games. St. John’s is 2-6 in the Big East. Marquette is 8-6, 4-4 in the Big East.

St. John’s started the afternoon with a couple of scores from Greg Williams Jr., but cold shooting overall. Julian Champagnie struggled to find his shot; the referees spent a section of the game calling offensive fouls and turnovers on both teams; and St. John’s settled for threes for much of the first half.

Marquette’s runs, including a last-second three from Greg Elliott, gave the Golden Eagles a lead of 11 at the half. The Johnnies, who had been forcing turnovers on Marquette, had not forced a turnover in the last seven minutes of the game, and Julian Champagnie was sporting a puffy eye from a collision in the paint.

But in the second half, Greg Williams started early, attacking the basket. After a turnover by Vince Cole and a bad defensive possession, though, Marquette was ahead by 10.

Julian Champagnie got cooking with 15 straight points to give the Red Storm the lead. The Golden Eagles and Red Storm went back and forth until Koby McEwen drove the left side of the lane, bounced off of Posh Alexander, and scored.

The Red Storm had a final shot, but the last two possessions featured Rasheem Dunn isolated against Theo John... waiting... and then passing to Vince Cole, who drove into three Marquette players and was blocked. A last-second Champagnie three missed.

Hard-fought, but not enough stops for St. John’s. It’s easy to focus on the last possession, but make no mistake: St. John’s was already down and had been chasing the game for most of the afternoon.

Even the leads the Red Storm achieved were, after a great effort, no more than one possession; the Golden Eagles may have allowed 13 more shots from the field, but they also kept the Johnnies missing at the rim, where they went 13/29. Overall, St. John’s shot 36% inside the arc and 40% from deep.

Julian Champagnie led the team with 20 points, 18 in the second half. Greg Williams Jr. had 15. Posh Alexander had nine points, five steals and eight assists.

Marquette had four players in double figures, led by D.J. Carton’s 14. Theo John had nine points, six rebounds and three blocked shots.

Next for St. John’s is a game against the UConn Huskies at 2:30 PM on Monday in Connecticut.