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St. John’s improves to 2-0 in Big East after win over DePaul

Marcus LoVett #15 of the St. John's Red

Marcus LoVett #15 of the St. John's Red Storm quiets the crowd before his teammate Shamorie Ponds (not pictured) prepares for a free throw against the Butler Bulldogs during a game at Carnesecca Arena in Queens on Thursday, Dec. 29, 2016. Credit: Steven Ryan

ROSEMONT, Ill. — Marcus Lovett scored 22 points and St. John’s defeated DePaul, 79-73, Sunday to start 2-0 in Big East play for the first time since 2010-11.

The Red Storm (8-7, 2-0) followed up their win over No. 13 Butler by beating the Blue Demons (7-8, 0-2).

“Tonight in the first half we played OK,” Red Storm coach Chris Mullin said. “Our defense was a little lackadaisical. The second half we came out and held them to 33 points . . . I told them to win on the road you have to play 40 minutes.”

Shamorie Ponds added 15 points and Bashir Ahmed four three-pointers and 14 points. Darien Williams had 12 points and nine rebounds.

Eli Cain scored 18 points, including all of DePaul’s in a 7-2 run to get the Blue Demons within 68-66 with 3:19 left but St. John’s responded with its own 7-2 spurt capped by two Lovett free throws for a seven-point lead with 43 seconds remaining.— AP

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