The march towards the end of the regular season is on, as the teams of the BIG EAST are finishing off the remaining parts of their schedule. Heading into Thursday night's game, both St. John's and DePaul were looking to give their dismal seasons a jolt to finish the regular season strong.
Last time out between these two teams, St. John's captured their first win in BIG EAST play this season, as they edged out the Blue Demons by a score of 80 to 65. Since that game, St. John's nearly pulled off the upset against Seton Hall over the weekend and were looking poised to extend their recent run of good fortune.
On the other side was DePaul, who, since beating Providence a few weeks ago, suffered repeated blowout losses. The stage was set for the Blue Demons to shake off their recent poor form and even with St. John's in their regular season series against them.
In the end, it would be DePaul who walked away with the win by a score of 83 to 75 as the Blue Demons were too much for the Johnnies to handle.
It was the Billy Garrett show, as Billy Garrett, Jr had one of his best games, going off for a double-double performance of 10 assists and 19 points on 5-of-11 shooting and 8-of-8 from the foul line. He was the main cog in a DePaul engine that was humming along as his efforts were followed up by the likes of Myke Henry and Eli Cain.
Henry posted a 17 point night on 6-of-8 shooting and 4-of-4 from the foul line. Cain had himself a 16 point night on 5-of-9 shooting and 4-of-5 from the foul line. While both players were effective on the floor, they also flew a little too close to fouling out of the game both players succumbed to four fouls a piece.
As a team, DePaul shot the ball at a rate of 53% from the floor, 29% from three point range, and 81% from the free throw line. They won the battle of the boards with 38 total rebounds to St. John's 29 on the night. The Blue Demons also pounded the paint for 38 of their 83 points as well.
On the other side of the ball was St. John's who were looking to continue their run of form. Alas it was not meant to be as DePaul was too much to handle, despite a last ditch effort in the dying minutes of the game. Despite the loss, the Johnnies did have their bright spots.
Ron Mvouika was the Red Storm's leading scorer, finishing with 20 points on 7-of-15 shooting and 2-of-3 from the foul line. He was not alone, as Durand Johnson finished with 15 points on 5-of-13 shooting and Malik Ellison had a 12 point night on 1-of-3 shooting from the floor and 9-of-10 from the foul line. Foul troubles were an issue for St. John's as much as they were for DePaul, as Yankuba Sima fouled out and Durand Johnson received four fouls among which included a technical.
As a team, the Johnnies shot the ball at a rate of 40% from the floor, 31% from three point range, and 63% from the foul line. St. John's only lead tonight's game for four minutes.
With this game in the books, both teams now just have two more games on their schedules, before putting the regular season to a close.