WASH DC – St. John’s gave its retired coach Lou Carnesecca a gift on his 94th birthday Saturday with a 97-94 overtime win at long-standing rival Georgetown. The win ended the Johnnies’ 12-game losing streak at Georgetown.
St. John’s Shamorie Ponds led all scorers with 37 points, the 10th 30-point game of the junior’s career. He also had six assists and four steals. Justin Simon filled his stat line with 14 points, nine rebounds, six assists and two blocked shots. Jessie Govan led the Hoyas with 25 points and 10 rebounds. Freshman Josh LeBlanc posted 12 points and 13 rebounds.
Butler bounced back from a home loss versus Georgetown to defeat Creighton 84-59 at Hinkle Fieldhouse. The Bulldogs played an outstanding first half and built a 48-29 lead. The Bluejays scored the first 11 points in the second half, but could not muster a serious challenge to the lead. Butler’s Kamar Baldwin scored 18 of his game-high 28 points in the first half. He also had seven assists and five rebounds. Martin Krampelj led Creighton with 16 points. The result left both teams 10-5 overall and 1-1 in the BIG EAST.
Villanova also used a strong first half in its victory at Providence. The Wildcats’ Phil Booth opened the game with three 3-pointers and helped his team build a 43-25 lead at the break. The Friars rallied and were as close as four points in the final minute. Booth finished with a game-high 23 points and Eric Paschall contributed 13 points and a game-high 14 rebounds. Macai Ashton-Langford had his most productive day as a Friar with 20 points, including 4-of-4 from 3-point range. Villanova is 2-0 in the BIG EAST while Providence is 0-2.
The Sunday schedule includes two early games. Xavier plays at Marquette at noon ET on FOX and Seton Hall visits DePaul at 1 p.m. on FS1.
Xavier is trying to win its eighth straight BIG EAST road game after one this season and six from last year. All five Musketeers average in double figures led by Quentin Goodin who sports a 13.5 scoring average. His 5.7 assist mark is third in the BIG EAST. Marquette is 10-0 in the new Fiserv Forum. Markus Howard leads the BIG EAST in scoring with a 23.9 average.
Seton Hall is aiming for its second straight 3-0 BIG EAST start when it meets DePaul. The Pirates have won the last six meetings. DePaul is looking to avoid an 0-3 beginning to the conference season. Max Strus ranks fifth in the BIG EAST in scoring (18.6) and sixth in rebounding (7.5).