Ponds stellar again, as St. John’s top Georgetown
Feb 28, 2017 | 6592 views | 0 0 comments | 332 332 recommendations | email to a friend | print
Trailing by one at the half, the St. John’s men’s basketball team sank 52 percent of its field goals tries in the latter stanza, including a 4-of-5 effort from downtown, to outlast arch-rival Georgetown, 86-80, at Madison Square Garden on Saturday.

“I thought a lot of times we were putting pretty good pressure on the ball, but then towards the end of the {shot] clock we were gambling and giving them open looks,” said head coach Chris Mullin. “In the second half, we did much better staying disciplined.”

Shamorie Ponds led the way for the Red Storm (13-16, 7-9) with 24 points on 10-of-15 shooting in a monumental day, becoming just the third freshman in program history to eclipse the 500-point mark in a season.

The sharp-shooting lefty from Brooklyn joins D’Angelo Harrison (544, 2011-12) and Erick Barkley (500, 1998-99) as the only rookies in program history to net 500 in a campaign.

With a 2-of-3 performance from distance, Ponds also bumped his season-long three-point total to 67, moving him into sixth place on the St. John’s single-season record list in that category and just nine shy of the all-time record (Harrison- 76, 2011-12).

Ponds was selected as the Big East Freshman of the Week for a league-high fifth time after averaging 19 points, 5 rebounds and 4.5 assists in a 1-1 week for the Red Storm.

“He’s been pretty amazing all year long,” said Millin. “He’s been so good that if you watch him, you’d probably forget that he is a freshman. He’s as dangerous scoring as he is making the pass or drawing the defense.”

Federico Mussini orchestrated a key first half run for the Red Storm and finished with 16 points on 5-of-6 shooting and a 3-of-4 effort from beyond the arc.

Bashir Ahmed also added 16 points for the Johnnies, with 14 of those in coming in the second half. In addition, the junior wing from the Bronx corralled five boards.

The Red Storm forced 22 Georgetown turnovers on the afternoon, converting those into 25 points. Sixteen of those turnovers came in the first half for the Hoyas (14-15, 5-11).

“The problem was we really didn’t get much out of it,” Mullin said. “We were turning the ball right back over. It’s just kind of two mindsets, we want to be really aggressive in the backcourt and create havoc, but then in the half court, we want to be disciplined and keep the ball in front of us.”

The Red Storm returned to action on Tuesday night for its final road contest of the regular season, traveling to Omaha for an 8 p.m. matchup with Creighton.
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