Queens, NY — The Marquette Golden Eagles (21-8, 15-3 Big East) dominated the St. John’s Red Storm (16-13, 9-9 Big East) 76-57 on Sunday’s Senior Night at Carnessecca Arena to clinch their first-ever Big East regular season title.
The day started off with a visible sense of nostalgia and bittersweet happiness from the St. John’s team, as they participated in their Senior Night festivities knowing it would be the last time some of them played at Carnessecca.
The emotions the night led to an intense battle between the Golden Eagles and the Red Storm, but it was apparent from the start that this was going to be a blowout, just by the intensity displayed by Marquette. They were hungry for the win and put in the work to make sure they came out with the win, something that head coach Carolyn Kieger noted in the post-game interview.
“They were on a mission…They wanted it, and they wanted it from the tip and I’m just really proud of them,” Kieger said.
Wanting it from the start was apparent, as Marquette pushed the tempo both on offense and defense. The Golden Eagles began shooting 9-of-15 in the first quarter to go along with four steals and six fast breaks. Junior guard Allazia Blockton started the game off hot, with seven points in the first quarter alone.
St. John’s couldn’t match the intensity of its opponent, only making 5-of-16 shots and turned the ball over six times.
“We never got our footing…They did a great job in being able to get us uncomfortable offensively,” St. John’s head coach Joe Tartamella said.
The second quarter started with much of the same, as the Golden Eagles continued to find their rhythm offensively while the Red Storm struggled to maintain possessions. Near the close of the first half though, St. John’s began forcing turnovers and gained some momentum, closing their deficit to 11. The Red Storm went into halftime trailing 36-25.
The surge of St. John’s presence transcended into the start of the third, but they weren’t able to cash in on easy shots that should’ve gone down and by the end of the third were shooting just 13-of-40 (32%).
“I thought we got good looks, but we just didn’t make them,” Tartamella said.
In the end it was a dominant performance for Marquette to close out the regular season, as Blockton finished with 19 points, junior guard Amani Wilborn finished with another 18 points and the Golden Eagles had four total players in double figures.
While senior guard Maya Singleton’s 11 points and sophomore guard Andrayah Adams' 11 points weren’t enough to seal a win for St. John’s, they’ll have to regroup and refocus toward the postseason, with the Big East Tournament right around the corner.
“The Big East is so strong this year, I don’t think anyone is the favorite to be honest. You’re gonna have to bring it every night no matter who you’re playing, and I think anyone can win,” Kieger said.
Big East tournament action kicks off March 3rd so make sure to stay up to date on Swish Appeal to see how the NCAA postseason turns out.