MIAMI – (Staff Report from Official News Release) – Marquette’s Markus Howard and St. John’s Shamorie Ponds put on scoring displays to lead their teams to wins on Saturday afternoon. For the day, BIG EAST teams were 5-3.
Howard poured in 45 points – the most points in a single game in regulation in Marquette history – in an 83-71 victory over No. 12 Kansas State at Fiserv Forum. Howard already had the school single game record when he scored 52 points in an overtime win at Providence last season. Against the Wildcats, the junior shot 11-of-17 from the field, 4-of-10 from 3-point range and 19-of-21 from the foul line. Marquette is 6-2.
Ponds pumped in 37 points to lead a St. John’s rally that led to a 76-73 victory against Georgia Tech in the Miami Hoop Hall Invitational. Down 16 points with 16 minutes to play, the Johnnies came back with Ponds getting 21 of his 37 in the second half. Ponds has scored at least 33 points in three of his last four games. St. John’s is 7-0 for the first time since 1994-95.
Providence got an early lead and held off comeback attempts by Rhode Island in a 59-50 win in the teams’ annual in-state battle. The Friars (6-2) were led by freshman A.J. Reeves’ 15 points. PC held URI to 29.8 percent shooting from the field.
Xavier won its third game in a row, defeating Oakland 73-63. The Musketeers (5-3) used a balanced scoring attack with Naji Marshall scoring a team-high 14 points. Tyrique Jones posted his second straight double-double with 11 points and 11 rebounds.
Villanova had its hands full with La Salle until outlasting the Explorers 85-78. The Wildcats (6-2) won their 23rd straight Big 5 game behind Eric Pachall’s 27 points and Phil Booth’s 19 points. Trailing 42-39 at halftime, the Wildcats took the lead for good with 12 minutes to play.
In a matchup against No. 1 Gonzaga, Creighton built a 48-41 halftime lead before losing 103-92 before 18,759 at the CHI Center, the largest crowd for a non-conference home game in Bluejay history and the fifth largest overall. Ty-Shon Alexander led Creighton with 27 points.
Seton Hall led by 12 points in the first half and by nine in the second half against Louisville, but lost 70-65. Myles Powell scored a game-high 23 points. The Pirates struggled with their long-range shooting, making only 3-of-18 from 3-point ranges.
Sub-par shooting also was a factor in Butler’s 64-52 loss at Saint Louis. The Bulldogs made only 28.1 percent of their shots from the floor. Sean McDermott scored a team-high 12 points. Saint Louis used a 12-0 run to close the first half and take control of the game.
BIG EAST action resumes on Monday.