Shamorie Ponds capped a 35-point performance with a driving bank shot with 4.8 seconds remaining in overtime Tuesday night, delivering St. John’s an 87-86 victory over Virginia Commonwealth in the final of the Legends Classic in New York.
After 11 consecutive points had been scored on free throws in a see-saw affair in overtime, including two by Isaac Vann with 10.9 seconds left to give Virginia Commonwealth a one-point lead, the Red Storm (5-0) inbounded the ball to Ponds. The junior guard took it the length of the court until floating home his game-winner.
Without a timeout, the Rams (4-1) got one final shot, but Marcus Evans came up short on a 30-footer just before the final horn.
Ponds scored nine of his points in overtime, five from the free-throw line. LJ Figueroa added a key three-point play in the extra session for the Red Storm, who had beaten California in the semifinals on Monday.
Marcus Evans had seven of his 12 points in overtime for the Rams, who advanced Monday by beating Temple.
Both teams had a chance to end the game in regulation.
After Ponds put St. John’s up 73-72 with a layup with 29 seconds remaining, Evans drew a foul from Ponds with five seconds left.
He made only one of the two free throws, however, tying the score.
After a long inbounds pass, the Red Storm’s Marvin Clark II got off a 3-pointer before the final horn, but it missed the mark.
Figueroa finished with 15 points, Clark 10 and Mikey Dixon 10 for St. John’s, which went just 16-17 last season.
Issac Vann led Virginia Commonwealth with 30 points, including four free throws in the last minute of overtime.
De’Riante Jenkins added 14 points and Malik Crowfield 13 for the Rams, an 18-game winner a year ago.
—Field Level Media