Shamorie Ponds led the way for St. John’s (5-6) on Sunday, scoring a team-high 18 points on 4-of-8 shooting from beyond the arc. Playing his first collegiate game in his home borough, the Jefferson High School product also grabbed six boards and dished out two assists.
LIU Brooklyn (7-3) saw two of its players record double-doubles, as Jerome Frink finished with 20 points and 12 rebounds, while Nura Zanna tallied 13 points and 11 boards.
Three other Johnnies reached double figures, as Darien Williams shattered his career high with 15 points on 4-of-6 shooting and a 7-of-8 effort from the free throw line. The senior from San Francisco also grabbed a team-high and career-best seven boards.
Bashir Ahmed added 14 points and six rebounds for the Johnnies, while Federico Mussini chipped in 11 points.
The Blackbirds found it hard to miss in the early going, making seven of their first eight shots from the floor and jumping out to an 18-8 lead with 14:36 to go in the opening half.
St. John’s battled back, however, and the two teams entered the locker room tied at 42.
Trailing by one, 49-48, four minutes into the latter stanza, the Johnnies opened up a 10-2 run to take their largest lead of the game, 58-51, two and a half minutes later.
But LIU Brooklyn quickly took back the lead, 60-58, thanks to a 9-0 run.
The Johnnies moved ahead by four, 73-69, after a Kassoum Yakwe block led to a Mussini triple with 1:34 to play, but the Red Storm would fail to score over the game’s closing 94 seconds.
Iverson tallied the contest’s final five points for the Blackbirds during that stretch on a three-ball and the game-clinching jumper with 26 ticks left on the clock.
St. John’s will next be in action on Sunday, December 18, taking on Penn State in the ECAC Holiday Festival at 11 a.m. at Madison Square Garden. Meanwhile, LIU travels to Minneapolis on Wednesday for an 8 p.m. matchup with the Minnesota Gophers.
Women strong on both ends of court
Behind a team-record 32 points in the first quarter, the St. John’s women’s basketball team came away with a 65-39 win over Rutgers at Carnesecca Arena last Wednesday night. The Red Storm (5-3) have now won three-straight games at home.
Defensively, St. John’s held Rutgers to the lowest point total in the series history dating back to 1978.
“I thought this was probably our most complete game, even better than the Virginia win, with how we played top to bottom” said coach Joe Tartamella. “I thought our bench gave us great minutes and gave us 20 points.”
Sophomore Akina Wellere led the charge, scoring a game-high 19 points. For the game, the Chicago native hit 6-of-7 from behind the arc, one shy of tying Kim McMillan’s single-game program record of seven.
Jade Walker scored nine points and had three rebounds. The senior set a career-high by going 6-for-6 from the free throw line.
Redshirt senior Sandra Udobi had her best game of the season, chipping in a season-high nine points and grabbing a pair of rebounds in 11 minutes of action.
Freshman Alisha Kebbe brought down a season-best 10 rebounds. Aaliyah Lewis and Crystal Simmons both had five helpers as the Johnnies recorded 15 assists on 18 made field goals.
St. John’s returns to action next Tuesday, traveling to the Bronx to take on Fordham at Rose Hill Gym. The first tip is scheduled for 7 p.m.