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St. John’s Drops Season Finale to Marquette, 85-77

The Red Storm return to New York to play DePaul in the Big East Tournament

NCAA Basketball: St. John at Marquette Jeff Hanisch-USA TODAY Sports

St. John’s loses a track meet to Marquette to close out the season, 85-77.

In possibly the only game where the Red Storm will see the Golden Eagles this season, the contest was sure to be played with considerable pace. With all the slow paced teams in the Big East, Marquette and St. John’s are considerably faster than the rest of the conference. The Johnnies ranked 3rd in the country in pace with just shy of 77 possessions per game while the Golden Eagles ranked 46th with over 73 possessions per game.

The first half was marred by St. John’s giving Marquette an inch for a couple stretches and Marquette taking a mile. Right after the opening tip, the Red Storm spotted the Golden Eagles 10 unanswered points with the Johnnies failing to hit a field goal for nearly the first four minutes of the game.

St. John’s got back into the race after Montez Mathis drove and drew a foul, and continued to chip away thanks to Mathis’ strong stretch. He scored 6 straight points, and the Red Storm were able to answer with an 8-0 run of their own. The Johnnies clawed their way back with a three by Dylan Addae-Wusu, giving St. John’s a brief lead with 10 minutes to go.

However, soon thereafter the Golden Eagles duplicated their early performance and answered with an 11-0 run to put Marquette back up by double digits again. A pair of layups by Julian Champagnie and a thunderous dunk by Esahia Nyiwe helped cut into some, but Marquette still went into the half up 42-35.

The second half was not nearly as dynamic in that there were far fewer runs and less volatile leads. While St. John’s benefitted from fewer gaps to close, they struggled to go on a run of their own to cut Marquette’s halftime lead. The Red Storm’s inability to cut into Marquette’s lead had to due with the Red Storm’s inability to knock down timely open threes.

In the second half, the Johnnies made a concerted effort to get to the rim, and were able to at least get there successfully. The officials were letting both teams play and a lot of contact was allowed around the bucket. However, when St. John’s got to the rim and kicked it out to Rafael Pinzon and Aaron Wheeler for open threes, neither were about to hit a timely jumper to make a meaningful dent in the Golden Eagle lead. Collectively, the team shot 1 of 7 from deep in the second half.

As a result. St. John’s was not able to overcome their halftime deficit and fell to Marquette, 85-77.

Next, the Red Storm take on the DePaul Blue Demons in the Big East Tournament at Madison Square Garden at 7:00 PM on Wednesday, March 9.

St. John’s Red Storm

Dylan Addae-Wusu: 19 points (8/9 FG, 3/3 3PT), 2 rebounds, 2 assists

Julian Champagnie: 15 points (6/17 FG, 0/4 3PT), 5 rebounds, 2 assists

Esahia Nyiwe: 10 points (4/5 FG, 1/1 3PT), 2 rebounds

Marquette Golden Eagles

Justin Lewis: 28 points (9/20 FG, 4/7 3PT), 6rebounds

Darryl Morsell: 17 points (8/14 FG, 0/4 3PT), 5 rebounds, 4 assists