St. John's Falls To Marquette in BIG EAST Tournament

March 10, 2016

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NEW YORK - St. John's had its 2015-16 campaign come to a close with a 101-93 loss to Marquette Wednesday in the BIG EAST Tournament first round at Madison Square Garden. The Red Storm rallied back from a 17-point deficit to go up one with 3:15 remaining, but Henry Ellenson answered with a 3-pointer and the Golden Eagles held on. Ellenson recorded a double-double, scoring 27 points to go with 14 rebounds.

"Much like our whole season, I was proud of my guys effort," said St. John's Head Coach Chris Mullin. "We had a tough first half, regrouped and just didn't give up."

Christian Jones (Arlington, Texas) exploded for a career-high 29 points, shooting 13-of-21 from the field. Federico Mussini (Reggio Emilia, Italy) added 15 points off the bench and sank all six free-throw attempts. Durand Johnson (Baltimore, Md.) had 13 points and Malik Ellison (Voorhees, N.J.) scored 10 in St. John's second-highest scoring performance of the season.

Marquette jumped out to the early lead, shooting 63.0 percent in the first half to carry a 50-38 advantage into halftime. Haanif Cheatham had 12 of his 19 points in the first 20 minutes to pace the Golden Eagles.

After falling behind 75-58 with 11:46 left in the second half, St. John's (8-24) used a 31-13 run over the next nine minutes to take a one-point lead. Ron Mvouika (Paris, France) capped the furious surge with a 3-pointer that put St. John's up 89-88. But 15 seconds later, Ellenson nailed a triple to send Marquette back on top. The Golden Eagles sealed the game with eight of their final 10 points coming at the free-throw line.

"That's what we did all season," said Mvouika. "That's why I'm proud of my guys, proud of the coaching staff who never gave up on us. We kept fighting and battling all year and it's going to pay off next year."

Marquette (20-12) capitalized at the line sinking 38-of-43 attempts to the Red Storm's 19-of-23 effort at the charity stripe. The Golden Eagles got 23 points off the bench from Jajuan Johnson, while Duane Wilson (14) and Luke Fischer (10) also scored double-figures.

"I think what [this team] will be remembered for is having a professional and positive energy approach each and every day. We went through some tough times," said Mullin.

"We know we have a lot of work to do. The young guys understand what it takes to win and they know how much it hurts to lose. Sometimes that's what gets your attention the most."




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