Ponds lifts St. John’s over Oregon State
St. John’s forced 21 Oregon State turnovers and overcame a 10-point second-half deficit to beat the Beavers 82-77 on Thursday in the first round of the Advocare Invitational in Lake Buena Vista, Fla.
Shamorie Ponds led St. John’s with 26 points — despite shooting 5 of 17 — and six assists. Marcus LoVett added 18 points for the Red Storm (5-0).
Stephen Thompson Jr. led the Beavers (2-2) with 22 points, and Ethan Thompson added 19.
After falling behind 62-52 with 9 1/2 minutes to go, the Red Storm outscored the Beavers 22-5 to take a seven-point lead with 2:17 left.
Oregon State’s Stephen Thompson Jr. responded with a 3-pointer, but four was as close as the Beavers could get the rest of the way.
The Red Storm made four 3-pointers during a 13-3 run capped by Ponds’ shot that tied it at 65 with 5:44 to go in the game.
St. John’s took a 69-67 lead 90 seconds later on a Kassoum Yakwe dunk. It was the Red Storm’s first lead since late in the first half.
Oregon State took its first double-digit lead on Ethan Thompson’s 3-pointer with 10:31 remaining.
The Beavers scored the final five points of the half and led 40-37 at the break.
Oregon State shot 52.2 percent from the floor in the first half, including 5 of 10 from 3-point range. But the Beavers committed 12 turnovers — St. John’s had just two — to help the Red Storm stay close.
Tres Trinkle made two free throws to give the Beavers their biggest lead of the half at 20-13 with 9:42 left.
Stephen Thompson made three 3-pointers and scored 13 points in the first half for Oregon State.
St. John’s will play Missouri, which routed Long Beach State earlier Thursday, in Friday’s semifinals. The Beavers will take on the 49ers.