Ponds, balanced offense lift St. John’s past Iona
Shamorie Ponds led a balanced offense with 16 points as St. John’s broke open a close game in the second half and defeated Iona 69-59 on Sunday in the Madison Square Garden Holiday Festival in New York.
Ponds was one of five players from St. John’s (9-2) who scored in double figures.
Justin Simon (15 points), Bashir Ahmed (12 points, 11 rebounds), Tariq Owens (12 points) and Marvin Clark II (12 points) led a Red Storm offense that proved too much for Iona.
St. John’s also helped its cause by making 23 of 27 free throws. The Red Storm needed that as it missed all 12 of its 3-point attempts.
After the game was tied at 25 at intermission, St. John’s quickly took charge in the second half.
The Red Storm scored the first seven points of the second half to take the lead for good. Ponds later scored six of his points as part of a 10-0 run which gave St. John’s a 44-29 lead just over five minutes into the second half.
Iona tried to rally but never drew closer than seven points.
Deyshonee Much led Iona (5-5) with 15 points, and E.J. Crawford added 12.
The loss ended the Gaels’ four-game winning streak.
Iona kept things close early. The Gaels rallied from an eight-point, first-half deficit with just over six minutes left to tie the game at halftime.
Crawford’s three-point play with 43 seconds left tied the game at 25.