Winner goes to the Advocare-Invitational championship set for Sunday 9:30 PM ET at the Wide World of Sports. We have Missouri coming off a blow out 95 -58 win over Long Beach State. The keys to their win was strong defense (19 turnovers , 5 blocks) , key 3 pointers to push the lead (10 of 24) and impressive play by emerging star Jontay Porter (15 points, 2 of 3 3 pointers and 4 blocks). We also have undefeated St. John’s getting the closer 82-77 win over Oregon State. The keys to their win was also strong defense (21 turnovers , 14 steals) and the fact Shamorie Ponds was unstoppable! He ended the night 5-17 from the field, a perfect 15 of 15 from the line, 6 assist and the final 8 points of the game.
St. John’s Marvin Clark II started the scoring off with a 3 pointer. Missour’s Jeremiah Tilmon responded back with a jumper plus the and 1 from the foul. Both teams battled until Cullen VanLeer made a three pointer to take the earlier 14-11 lead. Keving Puryear made the next 3 pointer to take the lead to 17-13. The dagger was when Jontay Porter and Jordan Barnett hit 3 pointer to push the lead to 27-15. Shamorie Ponds and Marcus LoVett played tough and were only down 42-36 at the half. Where is Bashir Ahmed? 2 points and 0 of 2 from 3 point land is not what the team needs from such a talented player.
The 2nd half started with Shamorie Ponds getting the layup. Bashir Ahmed finally connected behind the arc. Justin Simon added another 3 pointer and now we have a tie game at 44. St. John went on a 14-6 before Kassius Robertson drained back to back 3 pointers to take the lead back. Both teams threw the kitchen sink at each other from 60 points to 70 points.
Jontay Porter hit 2 key three pointers to open the lead. The 1st one was at the top of the key off the back board. No idea why they left him that wide open. The next one gave them the room they needed. Jordan Barnett scored the Tigers last 5 points to close out the 90-82 win over the Red Storm. Look for St. John’s to surprise some teams in the Big East this year. Shamorie Ponds is the real deal. 31 points is a great day for anyone. Coach Mullin stated “Shamorie is one of my better players and he played a good game.”
Bashir Ahmed did get his game going in the second half and finished with 17 points.
Jordan Barnett ended with 19 points. 2 of 4 from behind the arc, 9 of 10 from the free throw line , 9 rebounds and 3 blocks.