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Ponds lifts St. John’s past No. 10 Marquette 70-69

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MILWAUKEE — After No. 10 Marquette erased a 15-point deficit, St. John’s had the ball in the right spot in the closing seconds — Shamorie Ponds’ hands.

Ponds scored 28 points, including a go-ahead layup with 16 seconds left, to give St. John’s a 70-69 victory over the Golden Eagles on Tuesday night.

The loss ended an eight-game winning streak for the Golden Eagles and was their first defeat at their new home this season after 14 victories. Both of their conference losses have come against St. John’s.

“I was just trying to stay composed and not get sped up,” said Ponds, who had 13 of St. John’s final 14 points. “It was getting loud in there when they were making their run. I was just trying to slow the game down. We pretty much had a 15-point lead, they cut it and took the lead. You just try to stay composed and try to keep their crowd out of it.”

Marquette, which trailed 49-34 early in the second half, took a 69-68 lead on a 3-pointer from the right corner by Sacar Amin with 32 seconds left.

On the ensuing possession, Anim slipped, allowing Ponds to drive for the basket. Marquette’s Markus Howard missed an off-balance 3-pointer from the top of the key with 1.9 seconds left.

“I was just in attack mode and I got by him and I finished at the rim,” Ponds said. “I just didn’t feel him behind me, and I just tried to hurry and put it up because the shot-blocker was coming.”

Marvin Clark II was fouled on the rebound. He missed both free throws, including the second one on purpose. Sam Hauser rebounded for Marquette, but missed the desperation heave that harmlessly hit the bottom of the backboard.

Hauser scored 19 points and Howard 17 for Marquette (19-4, 8-2 Big East), which lost at St. John’s 89-69 on Jan. 1.

“We’ve got some length and some guys who can move their feet, so I think the switching helps,” St. John’s coach Chris Mullin said. “But you’ve still got to guard them. Howard can get free; he can get 40 in a half. And the Hauser brothers, if you give them an inch, they’ll make shots. Overall, we did a really, really good job again. They got hot toward the end and started getting free a little bit.

Justin Simon added 19 points and Mustapha Heron 10 for St. John’s (17-6, 5-5), which was coming off 91-61 loss to second-ranked Duke.

With the game tight late in the second half, Ponds scored five points from the free throw line to put St. John’s up 68-63, but Hauser hit a 3-pointer to make it 68-66 with 1:13 left.

After a missed drive by Ponds, Marquette pushed the ball and Howard found Amin for his go-ahead 3.

“I didn’t think we had the spirit and connectivity and fight this team has shown,” said Marquette coach Steve Wojciechowski. “When we have those things, we’re good. We’re beatable, but we’re good. When we don’t have those things, we’re really beatable. And, St. John’s had all those things at a much higher level.”

St. John’s led 40-30 at the half and extended it to 49-34 on a layin by Ponds with 15:42 remaining.

The Red Storm took their biggest lead of the half at 25-13 before Howard finally shook loose. Howard missed his first six shots, including three from beyond the arc, before scoring nine consecutive points for Marquette to cut the lead to 27-22.

BIG PICTURE

St. John’s: The Red Storm is 10-2 at home, 9-1 at Carnesecca Arena and 1-1 at Madison Square Garden. St. John’s next three games are at home against Providence at MSG, Butler at Carnesseca, and No. 14 Villanova at MSG.

Marquette: The Golden Eagles have to regroup against No. 14 Villanova, then travel to DePaul. Although Marquette had won eight straight, four had been by five points or less.

STOPPING HOWARD

Howard, who entered as the Big East’s leading scorer, had 17 points, but was just 5 of 17 from the field, including 1 of 9 inside the arc. He also was held to just three free-throw attempts. In the earlier loss at St. John’s, he managed just 8 points on 2-of-15 shooting.

UP NEXT

St. John’s hosts Providence on Saturday at Madison Square Garden.

Marquette hosts Villanova on Saturday.

More AP college basketball: https://apnews.com/Collegebasketball and https://twitter.com/AP-Top25

Nike ‘working to identify issue’ that caused Zion Williamson’s shoe to blow out

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Nike released a statement on Thursday saying that they are “working to identify the issue” that caused the left shoe of Duke star Zion Williamson to burst open, leading to the 285 pound freshman to slip and injure his right knee.

“We are obviously concerned and want to wish Zion a speedy recovery,” Nike said in a statement obtained by ESPN. “The quality and performance of our products are of utmost importance. While this is an isolated occurrence, we are working to identify the issue.”

The injury was termed a “mild knee sprain” by Duke head coach Mike Krzyzewski after the game.

“The knee is stable,” he added. “We don’t know how long he’ll be out.”

Nike stock dropped 1% the morning after the incident.

No. 1 Duke lost 88-72 to No. 8 North Carolina at home on Wednesday evening after the injury, which occurred just 30 seconds into the game.

Dan Patrick Show: Should Zion Williamson end Duke career after knee injury?

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Duke’s Zion Williamson faces a tough decision following a scary knee injury against North Carolina: try and return for March Madness or rest up for the NBA.

DAUSTER | Zion should do whatever makes him happy

Dan Patrick Show: Nike stock drops after Zion shoe incident

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After Zion Williamson blew out his shoe, Nike stock dropped a full one percent the morning after.

Bracketology: The Zion Williamson factor for Duke

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The pertinent question this morning is the health of Zion Williamson.  Foremost, because he’s an exceptional talent and life is bigger than basketball.

The secondary component is how his injury impacts Duke – both on the court and, subsequently, the Blue Devils’ standing on the Seed List.

If last night were the eve of Selection Sunday, the Committee would be forced to make a tough decision: evaluating Duke while Zion’s future availability is unknown.

Since a decision related to today’s bracket had to be made quickly in the wee hours of the morning with little information, Duke stays put, largely because the Blue Devils own a season sweep of Virginia, and two of its losses occurred with less than a full roster.

Once we know more about Zion’s status, further review will ensue.

BRACKET UPDATE: February 21, 2019

FIRST FOUR – DAYTON
SOUTH REGION Temple vs. Alabama
MIDWEST REGION UCF vs. Utah State
EAST REGION ST. FRANCIS (PA) vs. CANISIUS
WEST REGION NORFOLK ST vs. PRAIRIE VIEW

EAST Washington, DC   SOUTH – Louisville                   
Columbia Columbus
1) DUKE 1) Virginia
16) ST. FRANCIS / CANISIUS 16) LEHIGH
8) Ole Miss 8) Auburn
9) Ohio State 9) WOFFORD
Jacksonville Salt Lake City
5) Iowa State 5) Maryland
12) BELMONT 12) Temple / Alabama
4) LSU 4) Texas Tech
13) OLD DOMINION 13) LIBERTY
Hartford Hartford
6) Louisville 6) Villanova
11) Florida 11) VCU
3) MARQUETTE 3) Purdue
14) YALE 14) TEXAS STATE
Des Moines Columbus
7) BUFFALO 7) Cincinnati
10) Texas 10) TCU
2) Michigan 2) Kentucky
15) LOYOLA-CHICAGO 15) NORTHERN KENTUCKY
WEST – Anaheim MIDWEST – Kansas City
Salt Lake City Columbia
1) GONZAGA 1) TENNESSEE
16) PR VIEW / NORFOLK ST 16) SAM HOUSTON ST
8) Baylor 8) St. John’s
9) Minnesota 9) Syracuse
San Jose San Jose
5) Florida State 5) KANSAS STATE
12) NEW MEXICO ST 12) UCF / Utah State
4) NEVADA 4) Wisconsin
13) HOFSTRA 13) VERMONT
Tulsa Tulsa
6) Virginia Tech 6) Iowa
11) Seton Hall 11) Arizona State
3) Kansas 3) HOUSTON
14) UC-IRVINE 14) SOUTH DAKOTA ST
Des Moines Jacksonville
7) WASHINGTON 7) Mississippi State
10) NC State 10) Oklahoma
2) MICHIGAN STATE 2) North Carolina
15) MONTANA 15) RADFORD

BUBBLE NOTES
Last 4 Byes Last 4 IN      First 4 OUT Next 4 OUT
TCU Temple Clemson Nebraska
Seton Hall UCF Georgetown UNC-Greensboro
Arizona State Utah State Butler Lipscomb
Florida Alabama Furman Dayton

TOP SEED LINE: Duke is the No. 1 overall seed, followed by Virginia, Tennessee, and Gonzaga

Breakdown by Conference …

ACC (8): DUKE, Virginia, North Carolina, Florida State, Louisville, Virginia Tech, Syracuse, NC State

Big 10 (8): MICHIGAN STATE, Michigan, Purdue, Wisconsin, Maryland, Iowa, Ohio State, Minnesota

BIG 12 (8): KANSAS STATE, Kansas, Texas Tech, Iowa State, Baylor, Texas, Oklahoma, TCU

SEC (8): TENNESSEE, Kentucky, LSU, Mississippi State, Ole Miss, Auburn, Florida, Alabama

Big East (4): VILLANOVA, Marquette, St. John’s, Seton Hall

American (4): HOUSTON, Cincinnati, Temple, UCF

Pac 12 (2): WASHINGTON, Arizona State

Mountain West (2): NEVADA, Utah State

Southern (1): WOFFORD

Atlantic 10 (1): VCU

Mid American (1): BUFFALO

West Coast (1): GONZAGA

ONE BID LEAGUES: Loyola-Chicago (MVC), Canisius (MAAC), Old Dominion (C-USA), Texas State (SBELT), Yale (IVY), Montana (BSKY), Northern Kentucky (HORIZON), Sam Houston (SLND), UC-Irvine (BWEST), Liberty (ASUN), Belmont (OVC), Hofstra (CAA), Radford (BSO), Norfolk State (MEAC), South Dakota State (SUM), New Mexico State (WAC), Vermont (AEAST), Lehigh (PAT), St. Francis (PA) (NEC), Prairie View (SWAC)

Report: Syracuse coach Jim Boeheim hits, kills pedestrian on highway

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Jim Boeheim struck and killed a pedestrian walking outside of his car on I-690 on Wednesday night, just hours after his Syracuse Orange beat No. 18 Louisville at the Carrier Dome.

The man — identified as 51-year old Jorge Jimenez of Syracuse — was in a car with four other people that lost control on the highway, struck a guard rail and came to rest in the middle of the road, according to police. At some point, he got out of the car and was walking along the highway, which is when Boeheim hit him as he tried to avoid the disabled vehicle, which was in the road.

“I am heartbroked that a member of our community died as a result of last night’s accident,” Boeheim said in a statement released on Thursday afternoon. “Juli and I extend our deepest sympathies to the Jimenez family. Out of respect for those involved, I will not be providing further comment at this time.”

The incident occurred at 11:22 p.m. ET.

Boeheim remained at the scene and is cooperating with the investigation. He was given a field sobriety test at the scene and police determined that he was not impaired at the time. Speeds could not be determined, according to police, but Onondaga County District Attorney Bill Fitzpatrick told WSYR that Boeheim was driving at the proper speed for a highway.

“We are saddened by the death of a member of our Central New York community,” Syracuse AD Jim Wildhack said. “On behalf of Chancellor Kent Syverud and the entire Syracuse University community, we extend our deepest condolences to all impacted by this tragic accident. Coach Boeheim is in contact with local authorities and cooperating fully. Out of respect for those grieving, there will be no further comment at this time.”