MILWAUKEE – (STAFF REPORT FROM OFFICIAL NEWS RELEASE) – After losing a 15-point lead in the second half, Shamorie Ponds’ driving layup with 16 seconds left gave St. John’s a 70-69 victory at Fiserv Forum. The Johnnies handed the Golden Eagles their first loss at home this season, swept the season series and ended Marquette’s eight-game winning streak. St. John’s improved to 17-6 overall and 5-5 in BIG EAST play. Marquette fell to 19-4 and 8-2 in the league.
In addition to the game-winning basket, Ponds finished with 28 points and seven rebounds. He was 9-of-9 from the foul line and committed only one turnover while playing all 40 minutes. Teammate Justin Simon, who also played 40 minutes, had 19 points, six boards and three assists. Sam Hauser led Marquette with 19 points and 11 rebounds. Markus Howard had 17 points, five rebounds and five assists.
In conference games this season, home teams are 27-21. Twenty-one of the 48 conference games have been decided by six points or less.
In a relatively light week schedule-wise, there are only two games Wednesday before Saturday, when all 10 teams are in action.
Georgetown visits Providence at 7:30 p.m. ET on FS1. The two teams played a double-overtime thriller on Jan. 12 with the Hoyas prevailing 96-90. Jessie Govan had 33 points and 14 rebounds. PC’s Alpha Diallo countered with 24 points and 13 boards. Both teams have played plenty of close games this season. Seventeen of Georgetown’s 22 games have been decided by 10 points or less. For Providence, it’s 15 of 22 games by 10 points or less.
Villanova hosts Creighton at the Finneran Pavilion at 8 p.m. on CBS Sports Network. The Wildcats, 18-4 overall and 9-0 in the BIG EAST, will be trying to beat the Bluejays for a second time this year after winning 90-78 in Omaha on Jan. 13 behind Phil Booth’s 28 points. Creighton (13-9, 4-5) is starting a run of four of five games on the road and will be without point guard Marcus Zegarowski who broke a finger in Sunday’s win against Xavier. Ty-Shon Alexander continues to lead the Bluejays offensively, averaging 17.0 points.
Villanova is attempting to become the first BIG EAST team to start 10-0 in league play since Connecticut began 11-0 in 1998-99.