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

St. John’s (8) Suffers Overtime Loss To Marquette (1) In Big East Tournament Quarterfinals

St. John’s season ended Thursday afternoon after a 10-point halftime lead turned into a crushing overtime loss.
Torch Photo / Sara Kiernan

A back-and-forth contest between Marquette (1) and St. John’s (8) ended in the Johnnies’ crushing Thursday afternoon overtime loss, 72-70. The team dropped the quarterfinal-round game in the Big East Tournament, extending the program’s Big East Tournament semifinal round drought to 23 years and officially eliminating St. John’s from the NCAA tournament.

St. John’s found itself with the ball, down by two points, with less than four seconds remaining in overtime. Dylan Addae-Wusu had been successfully driving to the basket and working inside the paint late, with 11 of his 16 points coming in the second half. St. John’s head coach Mike Anderson hoped to send Addae-Wusu back to the basket for the game’s final play, but the junior guard couldn’t get through.

“We had guys spaced out on the floor and we wanted to try to get Dylan [Addae-Wusu] to the hole,” Anderson said of the game’s final play in a postgame media conference. “He came off the screen and I thought they did a good job of jamming it up in there.”

But although junior guard Posh Alexander got an open look on a 3-point try that could’ve given the Red Storm the win, the shot bounced off the rim. Alexander scored seven points on 2-for-10 shooting against the Golden Eagles.

Before the Johnnies faltered in overtime, they made a critical blunder in regulation. Alexander grabbed a steal from Iso Ighodaro, and passed it to forward David Jones with roughly 15 seconds left in the second half.

“I was trying to call one. It happened so fast.

— St. John's head coach Mike Anderson

 

Instead of calling a timeout, the Johnnies continued play, Jones lost the ball and committed a foul. The error cost St. John’s a possession and allowed Marquette to tack on another point. “I was trying to call one,” Anderson said. “It happened so fast.”

 

In a game that saw the Red Storm lead by as many as 14 points, the team couldn’t overcome their sluggish start to the second half. St. John’s led by 10 points heading into the locker room at the half, but Marquette opened the game’s second period on a 12-4 scoring run that tied the game at 40. From there, St. John’s and Marquette would trade leads, but the Johnnies shot 24.1% from the field through the end of regulation. In total, the game was tied 10 different times and there were eight lead changes.

Immediately following the loss, there were questions of whether St. John’s would play in the National Invitational Tournament (NIT) if they are selected. “If there’s an opportunity, our guys want to play,” Anderson said. “I’m sure our guys will want to play.”

Anderson declined to comment on whether there have been conversations with the St. John’s administration about his future. But when asked about whether he hopes to be the Johnnies’ coach next season, he said “yes, without a doubt.”

Players voiced their support for Anderson after their elimination, including senior center Joel Soriano, who is the NCAA leader in double-doubles. Soriano, who can return next season if he decides to use his additional COVID eligibility year, told New York Post reporter Zach Braziller that he is only returning if Anderson is the head coach. “He’s a great coach,” Soriano added.

Freshman standout AJ Storr, who scored six points on 1-for-11 shooting against Marquette, seemed to share Soriano’s sentiment in a cryptic tweet.

While St. John’s awaits word on a potential NIT bid, the Big East Tournament continues. The semifinal round begins Friday at 6:30 p.m. and the Big East Tournament championship game is set for 6:30 p.m. Saturday. The winner of the Big East Tournament receives an automatic entry into the NCAA tournament.

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About the Contributor
Brady Snyder, Editor-in-Chief
Brady is a senior journalism student currently serving as Editor-in-Chief. He joined The Torch in 2021, and previously served as Sports Editor. Outside of The Torch, Brady covers consumer technology and new innovations for ScreenRant, where he has nearly 100 published articles. When he isn’t writing, Brady is usually running or catching a sporting event. Brady can be reached at [email protected]

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