EditorsNote: Statline changed for Georgia Tech’s Alvarado
Shamorie Ponds scored a season-best 37 points and helped St. John’s overcome a 16-point second-half deficit and defeat Georgia Tech 76-73 in the Hoophall Miami Invitational in Miami.
Ponds, a 6-2 junior guard, bounced back from a four-point performance in his last game to lead the Red Storm (7-0). He was 10-for-17 from the field, four of those 3-point baskets. He hit a 3-pointer to get the team to within a point and dropped in a pair of free throws with 3:31 to give St. John’s the lead for good.
Ponds made a pair of free throws with four seconds left to make it a three-point margin. Georgia Tech, which had no timeouts remaining, had one chance to tie the game but Jose Alvarado’s halfcourt shot was no good.
The win gives St. John’s a 7-0 start for the first time since 1994-95.
St. John’s also got 13 points and seven rebounds from Justin Simon and 13 points from L.J. Figueroa.
Georgia Tech (4-3) got 17 points from Alvarado, along with four assists and three rebounds. James Banks III scored a career-high 14 points and had 12 rebounds for his second straight double-double. Brandon Alston scored 14 and Moses Wright scored 12.
The Yellow Jackets led by 16 points with 16:50 remaining after Alston drained a 3-pointer. But St. John’s began to solve Georgia Tech’s 1-3-1 defense and find ways to get to the line more effectively.
The result was an 11-0 run that gave the Red Storm a 71-66 lead with 1:45 left.
Georgia Tech trailed by as many as eight points in the first half before going on a 16-0 run, which was part of 21-2 streak that gave the Yellow Jackets a 38-26 lead. St. John’s cut the lead to 38-29 at the half on a half-court shot by Ponds at the buzzer.
The Red Storm hold a 6-4 advantage in the series.
—Field Level Media