The Independent Student Newspaper of St. John's University

The Torch

The Independent Student Newspaper of St. John's University

The Torch

The Independent Student Newspaper of St. John's University

The Torch

Men’s Basketball tops Marquette on the road

Marquette had Jae Crowder, St. John’s had D.J. Kennedy. Marquette had Jimmy Butler, St. John’s had Dwight Hardy.

Marquette opened the second half on a 7-0 run, St. John’s answered back with a 9-0 lead that lasted the rest of the game—one that led to an 80-68 win on Feb. 15.

As evenly as the men’s basketball team and Marquette (15-11, 6-7) looked in the first half—the game went to halftime deadlocked at 38—St. John’s (16-9, 8-5) opened up a 10-point lead with 8:39 remaining in the second half to put the game out of reach.

“I am really proud of our kids to be able to win two games in a three-day stretch, in the Big East is very difficult to do,” head coach Steve Lavin said. “Coming into this game we talked about it stimulating 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.”

Hardy, who had averaged 25.5 points in wins over Connecticut and Cincinnati last week and was named Big East Player of the Week, scored 28 points on 7-of-16 shooting. He also took 15 of the Red Storm’s 31 free throws, converting on 12 of them.

The Red Storm scored 38 points in the paint and had nine second-chance points on 11 offensive rebounds. Justin Burrell had 10 points and 12 rebounds, six of which coming on the offensive end.

The Golden Eagles were led by Butler’s team-high 23 points and seven rebounds, while Crowder had 15 points. Chris Otule provided a force in the paint, collecting eight rebounds and recording four blocks.

The win comes just two days after the Red Storm defeated Cincinnati on the road and is the team’s fifth in six games. The Red Storm’s 16 wins is just one shy of last year’s total, and the team has five games still to play before the Big East tournament begins.

“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,” Lavin said.

Though three of Marquette’s five remaining games are at home, the team has lost seven of its last 12 and the loss marked its first double-digit loss of the season.

The Red Storm and Golden Eagles entered the game just a game apart in the conference standings, with St. John’s at 7-5 and Marquette at 6-6.

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