Jan. 04, 2017
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NEW YORK (AP) Freshman 7-footer Justin Patton scored a season-high 25 points and grabbed nine rebounds as No. 10 Creighton bounced back from its first loss of the season with an 85-72 victory over St. John's on Wednesday night, snapping the Red Storm's three-game winning streak.
The Bluejays (14-1, 2-1 Big East) lost to No. 1 Villanova on New Year's Eve, ending their 13-game winning streak - the school's longest since 1942-43.
Patton led Creighton's huge advantage over St. John's in points in the paint, 52-24.
During one sequence, Patton scored on two layups, blocked a shot and then hit a 3-pointer that gave the Bluejays a 42-24 lead with 51 seconds left in the first half. Creighton scored the first six points of the second to take a 50-26 lead, its biggest of the game.
Marcus LoVett had 23 points to lead the Red Storm (8-8, 2-1), who finally got their offense going but got no closer than 63-55.
Maurice Watson Jr. scored 19 points for Creighton, and Marcus Foster added 15.
The best individual job of defense on the Creighton side came from Khryi Thomas, who did a good job shutting down freshman star Shamorie Ponds early.
Ponds averaged almost 21 points on 50 percent shooting in the three-game winning streak. With Thomas all over him on the defensive end, Ponds was able to score 17 points on 6-for-13 shooting.
Creighton: Coming into this game, Creighton had trailed for a total of 83:17 out of 560 minutes. The loss to Villanova marked the only time this season the Bluejays trailed in the final 3 minutes of a game and only the second time they trailed in the final 8 minutes. ... Watson entered leading the nation with 9.1 assists per game. He had five Wednesday. ... Creighton's name appears a lot in the national statistics. The Bluejays are ninth in scoring (88.4), second in field goal percentage (53.7) and second in 3-point shooting (43.0).
St. John's: The last time St. John's beat a Top 10 team in Carnesecca Arena (then Alumni Hall) was Dec. 9, 1975, defeating No. 7 Tennessee, which featured Bernard King and Ernie Grunfeld. ... Federico Mussini returned to the team after missing three games with an injury. He finished with five points. ... Ponds was Big East freshman of the week for the third time in the last four weeks. He had 26 points in the upset of then-No. 13 Butler.
Creighton: The Bluejays are at Providence on Saturday and then head home to host No. 18 Butler.
St. John's: The Red Storm head back on the road to face No. 16 Xavier on Saturday and are at Georgetown on Monday.