St. John's Defeats Marquette, 80-68, For Third-Straight Win|
Feb. 16, 2011
MILWAUKEE (AP) - Dwight Hardy, the reigning BIG EAST Player of the Week, scored a game-high 28 points and St. John's erased an early second half deficit to notch its third-straight win with a 80-68 triumph against Marquette at the Bradley Center.
D. J. Kennedy added 15 points, while Justin Burrell racked up his 10th career double-double with a 10-point, 12-rebound effort for St. John's (16-9, 8-5), which is now 8-5 in conference play for the first time since the 2000-01 season. The Red Storm also improved to 4-3 on the road in BIG EAST play and is 7-6 overall in games played away from home.
"I am really proud of our kids to be able to win two games in a three day stretch, which is very difficult to do in the BIG EAST," said head coach Steve Lavin. "Coming into this game we talked about it simulating NCAA tournament conditions. The quick turnaround time and having to play two high quality opponents like Cincinnati and Marquette gives you the opportunity to rehearse for NCAA tournament conditions. I thought our players put together two consecutive games, and now, five out of six, where there was a sustained level of effort and degree of execution that was impressive. I was really pleased for our players."
Jimmy Butler had 23 points to lead Marquette (15-11, 6-7), which lost by double-digits for the first time this season. Jae Crowder scored 15 points and Darius Johnson-Odom added 14 for the Golden Eagles, who were one of just six teams without a double-digit loss this season.
In a game that had 11 ties and 16 lead changes, St. John's took the lead for good on a Malik Boothe jumper with 13:41 left and later made 9-of-10 free throws down the stretch to nab its third win in six days.
With the score knotted at halftime, St. John's missed its first four goals of the second half and Marquette used a quick 7-0 run to open up a 45-38 lead, its largest of the game, with 16:47 left in regulation.
Following a St. John's timeout, however, a Justin Brownlee slam sparked a brief 9-1 spurt that eventually turned into a 24-7 run as the Red Storm took a 62-52 lead with 8:39 remaining. A Burrell tip-in at 4:38 gave St. John's its largest lead of the game, 70-57.
Dwayne Polee II drained a 3-pointer, his first since Nov. 17, to give St. John's an early 3-0 lead in a back-and-forth first half. A Brownlee trey at the 8:58 mark gave the Red Storm a four-point advantage, 24-20, which proved to be the largest lead for either team in the opening half.
A Hardy layup put the Red Storm up by four once again, 38-34, with 2:16 left, but the teams went into the locker room tied for the 11th time.
St. John's returns home to host No. 4/4 Pitt for a noon contest on Feb. 19 at Madison Square Garden.