St. John’s runs away from Sacred Heat
St. John’s defense came alive in the second half on Saturday by breaking open a close game at halftime, and the Red Storm waltzed to an easy 90-55 win over Sacred Heart at Carnesecca Arena in New York.
Shamorie Ponds led five Johnnies in double figures with 22 points. Tariq Owens recorded a double-double with 12 points and 11 rebounds.
After allowing the Pioneers to make 52.2 percent of their field-goal attempts and 63.6 percent from beyond the arc in the first half, St. John’s held Sacred Heart to only eight field goals and 21 second-half points.
A layup by Sean Hoehn got the Pioneers (3-5) within two at 38-36 early in the second half. The Red Storm (7-1) scored the next 13 points to go up 15 on a layup and free throws by Ponds.
A jumper by Hoehn, which made the score 53-40 at the 13:40 mark, were Sacred Heart’s only points until a free throw by Joseph Lopez with 7:12 left. During that six-plus minutes drought, St. John’s erupted for 18 points to blow the game wide open.
Kinnon LaRose and Mario Matasovic each scored 12 points to pace Sacred Heart.
The Pioneers trailed by only two at halftime thanks to their outside shooting. LaRose led the way, making 4 of 5 from beyond the arc. As a team, Sacred Heart connected on 7 of 11 from 3-point range. The second half was a different story as the Pioneers went 0-for-9 from long distance.
The Pioneers might have even had the lead if they had been able to take care of the ball in the first 20 minutes. The Red Storm converted 13 turnovers into 16 first-half points.
Sacred Heart committed 25 turnovers for the game, which St. John’s turned into 34 points.