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Adam Zagoria covers basketball at all levels. He is the author of two books and an award-winning journalist whose articles have appeared in ESPN The Magazine, SLAM, Sheridan Hoops, Sports Illustrated, Basketball Times and in newspapers nationwide.
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Sunday / February 17.
  • Shamorie Ponds drops 44 on Marquette for Red Storm’s third straight win

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    Shamorie Ponds continues to make history at St. Johns.

    The sweet-shooting lefty from Brooklyn scored more points than any other player in the 57-year history of Carnesecca Arena, netting 44 points and leading the Johnnies past Marquette, 86-78.

    Ponds’ 44 points broke the single game record for Carnesecca Arena/Alumni Hall previously held by Malik Sealy, who tallied 43 against Central Connecticut State on Nov. 24, 1990.  His total also tied for the fourth-highest in a single game in program history and the most by a St. John’s player since Marcus Hatten netted as many against Rutgers on March 6, 2003.  Only two players in the 110-year history of St. John’s Basketball have scored more points in a single game than Ponds: Harry Boykoff (45 and 54) and Bob Zawoluk (65).

    In his last four games, Ponds has scored 44 in a win over Marquette, 33 in a victory over No. 1 Villanova, 26 in a win against No. 4 Duke and 31 in a  loss to Xavier.

    “I mean it is a blessing,” said Ponds when reflecting upon his historic effort.  “All the great players who came through this university, for my name to be up there, it’s a dream come true.”

    Ponds shot 16-of-23 from the floor on the afternoon and 4-of-7 from three-point range.  In the second half, Ponds made nine of his 12 tries from the floor and scored 27 points.

    As a team, St. John’s shot a season-high 60.0 percent (30-of-50) from the field, including a 16-of-21 showing in the second half (76.2%).

    Justin Simon recorded his seventh double-double of the year and his second in as many games, finishing with 16 points and 11 rebounds.  He also dished out six assists, grabbed two rebounds and registered a pair of rejections.

    Even Simon, who has been a major catalyst himself during the Red Storm’s recent run, admitted that he sometimes finds himself in awe of his teammate.

    “He’s been playing amazing basketball these past couple of games,” said Simon.  “I love giving him the ball and seeing him go to work and these past games he’s done just that.”

    Marvin Clark II narrowly missed a double-double with nine points and nine boards, while Tariq Owens added nine points on 4-of-6 shooting to go along with three rebounds and a block.  Bashir Ahmed also turned in an all-around solid effort for St. John’s, tallying eight points and seven boards.

    St. John’s won the battle on the boards for the second-straight contest after failing to do so in 17 consecutive tries, outrebounding Marquette 37-31.

    Marquette scored the game’s first six points in the opening two minutes of action, but the Johnnies quickly answered with an 8-0 run of their own, taking their first lead of the game on a Ponds triple with five minutes gone in the contest.

    After the teams traded buckets for the next few minutes, the Golden Eagles rattled off five unanswered, moving ahead by four, 19-15, with 10:29 to go in the first half.

    Leading by seven, 26-19, following a trio of Rowsey free throws just over three minutes later, Simon sparked a 9-0 run for the Johnnies with a layup, as the Red Storm regained the lead by a pair, 28-26, with four minutes remaining until the intermission.  The Golden Eagles went stone cold during the St. John’s run, making just two of just 13 shot attempts in the final nine minutes of the half.

    Ahead by that same two-point margin, 34-32, at the break, the Red Storm received five-straight points from Owens to kick off the second half, bumping its advantage to seven, 39-32, and forcing a Marquette timeout just 42 seconds into the action.

    Marquette shaved its deficit to just a pair following a 7-2 spurt less than two minutes later, but the Johnnies answered with a 7-2 run of their own to rebuild a seven-point lead, 48-41, following four-straight points from Ponds.

    After building its lead to as many as nine, the Red Storm saw Marquette get back within three, 58-55, on a Markus Howard triple with 10:10 to go.

    From there, Ponds caught fire, scoring the next 13 points for the Johnnies as they built their lead to 10 for the first time on the afternoon.  Beginning with an old-fashioned three-point play, Ponds went 1-for-2 from the line before adding another three-point play to bump the lead to seven.  After Marquette cut the lead to four with a Hauser three-ball, Ponds responded with back-to-back triples of his own, sending the Carnesecca Arena crowd into a frenzy and bumping his point total on the night to 34.

    The Red Storm kept the Golden Eagles at bay down the stretch, expanding its lead to as many as 12 while not allowing Marquette to get any closer than eight.  Ponds scored 10 points in the final four minutes of the game to reach his historical total.

    Photo/Release: St. John’s

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    Adam Zagoria is a Basketball Insider who covers basketball at all levels. A contributor to The New York Times and SportsNet New York (SNY), he is also the author of two books and is an award-winning journalist and filmmaker. His articles have appeared in ESPN The Magazine, SLAM, Sheridan Hoops, Basketball Times and in newspapers nationwide. He also won an Emmy award for his work on the SNY mini-documentary on Syracuse guard Tyus Battle. A veteran Ultimate Frisbee player, he has competed in numerous National and World Championships and, perhaps more importantly, his teams won the Westchester Summer League (WSL) championships in 2011 and 2013. He lives in Manhattan with his wife and children.