With Monday’s 78-68 win over the Blue Demons of DePaul in the books for St. John’s, the Red Storm managed to kill two birds with one stone. They completed a sweep of DePaul in their two games in conference, a first for Chris Mullin and brought an end to their four game losing streak as well.
Yes, it seemed to be one of those days for St. John’s where the ball was bouncing in their favor. Or rather, in the case of this game, was raining down with ease as was evident from the onset. Malik Ellison got festivities under way with back-to-back 3-pointers setting St. John’s offensive pace for this game as well as his own personal pace for his production as well.
This time around it was not so much ball movement but proving to be too tough a match up for DePaul to handle as Ellison led the way with a game and personal high of 23 points on 7-of-10 shooting. He also managed to get four assists and finished the game with four fouls, oddly finishing as the only player on St. John’s to end up in foul trouble.
Ellison’s game while looked in and crucial for flow and movement of St. John’s today was just a part of what made the Johnnies so successful on the day. Shamorie Ponds and Bashir Amed both finished the day with 14 points with the former in Ponds also leading the Johnnies in assists with six. Rounding everything off was Tariq Owens who scored 10 points on 4-of-7 shooting and team leading nine rebounds.
A massive boon for St. John’s was their 22 points off of the bench compared to DePaul’s mere 6 bench points. Rotating on and off the bench proved to be useful in the long run for this game, especially when looking at the front court production. As mentioned, Tariq Owens garnered 10 points this game in 15 minutes on the floor. This help added to and made up for the limited production from Darien Williams and Kassoum Yakwe who had a combined six points in the game. Naturally the rotation of the guards with a bevy of 3-point shooting options helped as well.
On the reverse side of things is DePaul, who with this loss have now lost two straight since their win against Providence. The Blue Demons had their flashes this game, but in the end could not keep up due to a myriad of offensive struggles and running into serious foul trouble in the second half. On the whole, DePaul got consistent production from a trio of Billy Garrett with 16 points, Eli Cain with 15 points, and Tre’Darius McCallum with 14 points.
As mentioned earlier, DePaul out rebounded St. John’s this game but the results were negligible. Foul trouble though was one of the factors that upended the Blue Demons this game as McCallum and Joe Hanel finished the game with four fouls, and Billy Garrett and Brandon Cyrus had three fouls edging ever so close to further trouble. DePaul never had a fast break this game, with only two points off the fast break compared to St. John’s 20.
Next up on the docket for the Blue Demons is a home matchup against the Bulldogs of Butler. As for St. John’s, a short trek to play Seton Hall comes Sunday.