St. John’s looks to lock up spot in Big East playoffs
Entering the contest having won two of its last three in Big East play, St. John’s ran into a red-hot Butler squad, as the Bulldogs sank 58 percent of their tries from the floor and shot 13-of-26 from three-point range en route to a 110-86 victory at Hinkle Fieldhouse.
Federico Mussini led the way for the Red Storm (12-15, 6-8), scoring 20 points in a game for the third time this season on 7-of-13 shooting, including a 4-of-7 effort from beyond the arc. The sophomore guard hit his 100th 3-pointer in a Red Storm uniform late in the first half.
Freshman guard Shamorie Ponds sank all nine of his free throw attempts to finish with 18 points. The rookie from Brooklyn also dished out four assists and recorded four steals in a game for the eighth time this season.
The other half of the Red Storm’s electric young backcourt duo, Marcus LoVett tallied 15 points in 30 minutes of action.
St. John’s was scheduled to return to action on Tuesday evening, traveling to Milwaukee for an 8 p.m. showdown with Marquette.
Locked in a three-way tie for sixth place in the Big East, St. John’s enters Tuesday’s matchup looking to complete the regular-season sweep of the Golden Eagles and to leave Milwaukee with sole possession of fifth place.
The Johnnies rolled to a 14-point victory in the first meeting between the clubs on February 1 at Madison Square Garden.
Now nearly three weeks later, St. John’s goes on the road for a pivotal contest likely to have implications on St. John’s securing its spot in the Big East quarterfinals on day two of the tournament at MSG.
Women lose tough one to Creighton
The St. John’s women’s basketball team (18-10, 10-7) dropped a hard-fought 67-60 decision at Creighton (20-6, 14-2) on Sunday in Nebraska despite getting double-doubles from Jade Walker and Maya Singleton.
“I thought we played as hard as we’ve played all year for 40 minutes,” said head coach Joe Tartamella. “Unfortunately we weren’t able to execute enough from the free throw line and towards the end of the game.”
Walker finished with a team-high 18 points on 6-of-9 shooting. The senior also brought down 10 rebounds. Singleton added 12 points on 5-of-7 shooting. The junior from Maryland also grabbed 10 rebounds for her second double-double in the last four games.
Walker and Singleton became the first pair of teammates to record a double-double in the same game since Amber Thompson and Danaejah Grant accomplished the feat on March 26, 2015.
Alisha Kebbe chipped in 10 points while grabbing three rebounds. The freshman shot 4-for-7 from the field and drained her lone three-point attempt.
Akina Wellere added 12 points and five rebounds. The sophomore from Chicago hit five of her 10 attempts from the floor, including two of her five tries from behind the arc.
The Johnnies wrap up the 2016-17 regular season on Sunday at Carnesecca Arena against Seton Hall. The opening tip is scheduled for 2 p.m. Prior to the game, St. John’s will be honoring the four seniors playing in their final home game.