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Shamorie Ponds leads St. John’s to fourth straight victory

St. John's guard Shamorie Ponds reacts after his

St. John's guard Shamorie Ponds reacts after his team defeated Villanova 79-75 in an NCAA college basketball game Wednesday, Feb. 7, 2018, in Philadelphia. Credit: AP / Laurence Kesterson

Shamorie Ponds continued his remarkable run with 26 points and a career-high 10 assists and St. John’s continued its turnaround with a 77-76 win over DePaul on Wednesday night.

Marvin Clark II added a career-high 24 points for St.John’s (14-13, 3-11 Big East), which has won four straight — beating Villanova and Duke — since ending an 11-game losing streak.

Ponds, who averaged 34.3 points while shooting 54.5 percent in the previous wins, was 10 of 18. He had a three-pointer and a three-point play before feeding Tariq Owens to complete a 10-2 run for a 75-71 lead 47 seconds left.

Marin Maric had a tip-in with 19.7 seconds remaining for the Blue Demons but Clark and Owens both made 1 of 2 free throws to offset a three at the buzzer.

Eli Cain had 19 points and 11 assists for DePaul (10-15, 3-10), which won 91-74 at St. John’s.

Villanova falls. Providence will need to play its best basketball of the season down the stretch if its hopes to earn its fifth straight NCAA Tournament bid.

The Friars just took a big step toward that goal. Kyron Cartwright scored 17 points and the Friars withstood several late surges to stun third-ranked Villanova, 76-71.

Rodney Bullock and Alpha Diallo each added 14 points for the Friars (17-9, 8-5 Big East), who snapped a five-game losing streak to the Wildcats. It was Providence’s first win over Villanova since Jan. 24, 2016. With the victory the Friars greatly improved their at-large resume for the NCAAs. They moved into a tie for third-place in the Big East with Creighton, who they split with this season.

Mikal Bridges had 19 points for Villanova (23-3, 10-3), but fouled out with 1:12 to play in the game. Jalen Brunson added 14 points.

New York Sports