The sting of St. John’s last loss — a two-point stunner to Marquette in Queens on Jan. 16 — still hasn’t subsided. So it was fitting that the Red Storm were able to extract some payback Sunday afternoon in Milwaukee, beating Marquette, 75-73, to extend their winning streak to four games.
"What a gut check for our guys," coach Mike Anderson said during the postgame video conference. "We always talk about no guts, no glory."
Julian Champagnie had 22 points, Posh Alexander 15, Rasheem Dunn 11 and Vince Cole 10 for the Red Storm (11-7, 5-6 Big East).
St. John’s led by 15 points at halftime, but Marquette went on a 20-5 run to tie the score at 51 with 14:46 left. That did nothing to dampen the resolve of the Red Storm, who wanted this one badly.
"When we were on our way here, we just knew we were coming to win," Alexander said. "They came to our house and basically stole one."
Alexander repaid that steal with one of his own, robbing D.J. Carton with 1:32 left and driving to the hoop to give St. John’s a 71-68 lead. The play took the air out of Marquette.
"That steal was personal to me," said Alexander, who had six and leads the Big East in that category (2.53 per game). "When I was guarding [Carton] one-on-one on top of the key, he actually scored . . . So I took that personal. I saw him coming off the screen and I actually took it. I went for the layup and saw he was going to chase me and cut me off and I just floated it off the backboard."
Marquette’s Koby McEwen hit two free throws with 1:06 left to cut the deficit to one, but Dylan Addae-Wusu answered with an athletic layup, contorting his body in midair and finishing to give St. John’s a 73-70 lead.
Marquette again cut the lead to two with 12 seconds left but another steal, this time by Dunn off an inbounds play, sealed the victory.