St. John’s needed this game.
They needed this to save Mullin’s bacon. They needed this to salvage what’s left of a rollercoaster of a season. They needed this to stop going into a complete freefall, especially with Cameron Indoor and Fiserv awaiting them in their next two games.
Shamorie Ponds said his team was split after the Georgetown game. He personally scored 16 of St. John’s 44 first half points. A huge bulk of those 16 points came in the final five minutes of the first half.
In fact, this was a mirror image of what occurred at Carnesseca, a back and forth affair in the first fifteen until Creighton couldn’t hit a field goal to save their lives; a drought that lasted just over seven minutes in the meat of the first half.
It wasn’t that a lot of these shots were contested; they weren’t. Creighton got a bevvy of good looks but just couldn’t get the ball to fall through the hoop. St. John’s slowly built up a lead and then Shamorie exploded on the scene in the blink of an eye.
St. John’s was sloppy with the ball but managed to maintain some poise. Creighton relied on outside shots and weren’t able to cash in the first half.
The second half featured some highly active hands on behalf of the Johnnies. They were able to force Creighton into multiple turnovers, leading to run-outs and easy turnover buckets by Ponds and LJ Figueroa, stretching the lead to 14 points.
From then on it was simply the Johnnie’s task to hold on to their double digit lead, which thy did impeccably, never really allowing Creighton to crawl back into the ballgame.
The one shot Creighton had at any redemption occurred in roughly a minute and thirty seconds.
On the ropes, the Jays went on an 8-0 run that featured an and-one by Martin Krampelj, a lay-in by Ty-Shon Alexander, and a three by Mitch Ballock that nearly turned into a 5-point play as Krampelj was fouled underneath. Unfortunately, he missed the front end of the one-and-one, and Shamorie Ponds cruised to a lay-up finish on the other end, stopping the run, and effectively ending any chance Creighton had at winning the ballgame.