After a hot start, the Red Storm needed grit and execution (and maybe a little luck) to finish off Marquette, and earn their third road Big East road win.
St. John’s improves to 11-7, 5-6 in the Big East. They are tied for 6th in the Big East standings. Marquette falls to 8-9, 4-7 in the league, eighth in the Big East, and face Butler next — the ninth place team in the league.
The Red Storm may have spotted the Golden Eagles five points early, but then the Johnnies opened up a whole can on Marquette. A 17-4 run put the Red Storm in control in the first half, as the Red Storm stifled Marquette inside while connecting on wide open threes. Vince Cole was cooking early, Champagnie had a nice run late in the half, and the Red Storm were up 46-31.
Still, a 15 point halftime lead should be enough buffer... except when it is not.
The fundamentals may not have been there; St. John’s was not forcing turnovers and Marquette was doing a far better ball of keeping the ball safe. The Johnnies would get caught in switches and Theo John was doing well in the paint.
The second half started with an 8-0 run which became a 20-5 run for the Golden Eagles, tying the game at 51. Posh Alexander and Rasheem Dunn put the Red Storm back on the path, and that seemed to right the road trip.
But the Red Storm plays fast, which means just as fast as the spurts are is as fast as the lead can be lost.
Playing perhaps a bit fast, the Red Storm found themselves taking hasty jumpers in traffic and unable to get to the rim. After a lob dunked by Jamal Cain, the Red Storm struggled to handle the lead. But finally, Posh forced a steal at halfcourt on DJ Carton and drove in for a score to push the lead to three.
Dylan Addae-Wusu, with less than a minute left, got the ball after both Julian Champagnie and Posh Alexander were denied on drives. St. John’s moved the ball, and Addae-Wusu reacted as Dawson Garcia was closing out. He drove hard and left Garcia off balance and muscled in a layup.
It was a sign of growth and maturity, as the team kept the ball moving and found a third option to score with the game on the line.
The game was still not settled.
A traveling turnover from Julian Champagnie game the Golden Eagles one more chance. Marquette inbounded the ball but were tied up by Rasheem Dunn to get possession with .4 seconds left. The Johnnies inbounded the ball and came away with the win.
Julian Champagnie led the team with 22 points and seven rebounds.
Posh Alexander had 15 points ands six steals.
Marquette’s Dawson Garcia had 20 points and nine rebounds, and Theo John added 16, a career-high. Marquette only had 12 turnovers in the contest.
Next for St. John’s is a Wednesday nigh contest against Villanova at home.