JAMAICA ESTATES – (Staff report from Official News Release) – Creighton and Marquette advanced with first-round victories in their respective tournaments on Monday while Xavier and St. John’s recorded wins at home. BIG EAST teams are a combined 31-5 this season.
Shamorie Ponds (2)
Creighton will play in the championship game of the Hall of Fame Classic in Kansas City, Mo., after defeating No. 24 UCLA 100-89. Marcus Foster had 23 points and nine rebounds. Freshman Mitch Ballock, playing in his hometown area for the first time as a collegian, scored 22 points. Khyri Thomas was hampered by foul trouble, but still had 16 points.
The Bluejays will meet No. 22 Baylor tonight at 10 p.m. ET on ESPN2. Creighton has won 11 straight games in in-season tournaments.
Markus Howard, Sam Hauser and Andrew Rowsey combined for 62 points in Marquette’s 94-83 victory over VCU in the first round of the Maui Invitational. Howard scored 18 of his game-high 22 points in the second half. Hauser helped with 20 points and a game-high nine rebounds. Rowsey scored 20 points.
The Golden Eagles will battle No. 6 Wichita State in the second round today at 1:30 p.m. on ESPN.
Xavier powered its way to a 96-60 victory over visiting Hampton. Trevon Bluiett led four players in double figures with 21 points on 7-of-9 shooting from the field. The other three double-figure scorers came off the bench. Karem Kanter had 15 points in 14 minutes of play. Freshman Naji Marshall had 12 points and seven rebounds and Sean O’Mara added 11 points.
The Musketeers are off to the Las Vegas Invitational and will meet George Washington in the first round on Thursday.
St. John’s outscored Molloy 43-22 in the second half of a 71-43 victory at Carnesecca Arena. Shamorie Ponds and Bashir Ahmed each scored 14 points. Justin Simon recorded seven points, 11 rebounds and nine assists.
The Red Storm travel to Orlando, Fla., for the Advocare Invitational and a first-round matchup against Oregon State on Thanksgiving Day.