St. John's drops to 2-3 in Big East With DePaul Loss, Shamorie Ponds day-to-day | Zagsblog
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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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Monday / May 20.
  • St. John’s drops to 2-3 in Big East With DePaul Loss, Shamorie Ponds day-to-day

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    By ADAM ZAGORIA

    St. John’s was picked fourth in the Big East Conference, and there are big expectations for Chris Mullin’s crew to make the school’s first NCAA Tournament since 2015.

    But with their 79-71 home loss to DePaul Saturday night, the Red Storm fell to 14-3, 2-3 in the Big East. No.24 St. John’s has now dropped two straight since entering the Top 25 for the first time in four years.

    St. John’s is now seventh in the Big East standings, with defending NCAA champion Villanova the only unbeaten team in the league at 3-0.

    Junior guard Shamorie Ponds missed the DePaul game with a lower back strain that the school said he initially suffered in the Georgetown game last Saturday. He is day-to-day going forward.

    “Obviously he is a great player, so without him, we approach things a little differently,” Mullin said. “Anytime you take your best player off the team, it has an effect. We came out and we played okay. A little passive, I thought, but overall, in the second half, we picked up our energy. We just need to play through.”

    Femi Olujobi had 27 points and eight rebounds, Paul Reed had 18 points and 10 boards and Max Strus went for 14 points and 12 boards for DePaul.

    L.J. Figueroa led the Red Storm with 23 points. Justin Simon scored 20 and Marvin Clark had 14 on 6-of-16 shooting, including 1 for 7 from 3-point range.

    “We knew all along that he was not going to be playing,” Clark said. “Of course it changes some things, but we have a pretty talented team, so it really doesn’t change too much. I shot 6 of 16 tonight. We didn’t get a lot of things to go in from beyond the arc. That’s the result.”

    St. John’s hosts Creighton on Wednesday before visiting Butler Jan. 19.

    “I’m very confident,” Clark said. “This is just a bump in the road. We have a lot of guys that can handle adversity, especially us two [alongside Justin Simon] up here. We’ve been through a losing streak, so we know what adversity is. We are confident in our abilities and we will be prepared and ready for the next game. We just need to go into our locker room, talk to our guys and get ready for these next couple of days of preparation.”

    (The AP contributed)

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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.