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St. John's vs. Marquette final: Johnnies ride defense, hot second half shooting to win 67-51

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Brad Penner-USA TODAY Sports

In the second-to-last game before the postseason, St. John's found a feisty - but overmatched opponent on the road. The Johnnies fought through poor shooting with defense and pulled out the 67-51 victory over Marquette in Milwaukee.

St. John's improves to 21-9, 10-7 in conference play. Marquette falls to 11-18, 3-14 in the Big East.

With two squads with little depth meeting at the end of a long season, the game could have gone either way, even with St. John's on the right side of the bubble and Marquette on the wrong side of .500.

Marquette came out with a zone that slowed St. John's and forced them into long jump shots, while the Golden Eagles attacked the Johnnies' lack of size inside. The Red Storm slogged through a slow first half, thanks to the hot hand of Rysheed Jordan - 13 points in the half and 23 points overall.

D'Angelo Harrison added 21 points, 16 in the second half, while Sir'Dominic Pointer paced the team with 10 points, 13 rebounds, seven assists, three steals, and two blocks. Phil Greene, playing in front of his family near home for the last time, added 11 points and eight rebounds.

The Golden Eagles' plan worked, but the Golden Eagles couldn't convert enough shots inside or outside, and turned the ball over 14 times (21% of their possessions). And Marquette center Luke Fischer's second foul with over eight minutes left left the home team without a player who was a load to handle all night for St. John's bigs.

The second half brought Fischer back - who drew fouls on Amar Alibegovic and Chris Obekpa - but the Eagles had no answer for the hot outside shooting of St. John's. The Johnnies shot 12/24 from outside the arc, 50%, and held the Golden Eagles to 25% from distance.

Marquette hosts DePaul in their home and regular season finale on Saturday. St. John's travels to Philadelphia to take on the league-leading Villanova Wildcats, a possible #1 seed in the NCAA Tournament.

Notes

  • Chris Obekpa got the start for the first time since his flagrant elbow in the Butler game one month and a day ago. he had two points, five rebounds and four blocks on the night.

  • St. John's wore the grey uniforms on the road.

  • Greene, Harrison, Pointer and Jordan all played 40 minutes each, with Chris Obekpa and Amar Alibegovic splitting the rest of the minutes 32 to 8.