St. John’s basketball surrenders shooting barrage to No. 7 Creighton

St. John's basketball (Steven Branscombe-USA TODAY Sports)
St. John's basketball (Steven Branscombe-USA TODAY Sports) /

St. John’s basketball saw shooting barrage from No. 7 Creighton on Saturday afternoon.

Things looked bleak for the St. John’s basketball team ahead of its second matchup of the season with the No. 7 Creighton Bluejays (10-2, 6-1 Big East).

Creighton had already defeated the Red Storm (6-6, 1-5 Big East) by 18 points this season and now the season series was shifting to Omaha.

The Johnnies were coming off of a tough loss on Wednesday night against Xavier while the Bluejays had trounced Seton Hall.

Then news broke minutes before tipoff that Preseason Big East Player of the Year Marcus Zegarowski would not play because of an injury.

St. John’s had a new sense of hope.

Until Creighton made ten 3-pointers in the first half.

Without its best player, Greg McDermott‘s team hung 56 points on the Johnnies in the first 20 minutes with only one player reaching double-digits.

“Our defense seemed to be a step slow,” St. John’s head coach Mike Anderson said following his team’s 97-79 defeat.

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St. John’s tried to claw itself back in the game with its offense multiple times in the second half but ceded a Creighton run each time it got within striking distance.

All five starters finished with at least ten points for Creighton, led by 24 points from Denzel Mahoney, while six of the nine players that checked in also reached double-digits.

Sophomore star Julian Champagnie posted the first 30-point double-double in program history since D’Angelo Harrison did so in 2015 with 33 points and 10 rebounds while Marcellus Earlington was the only other member of the Red Storm to reach double-digits.

St. John’s basketball team isn’t going to feel sorry for itself

Despite yet another slow start to conference play, St. John’s isn’t going to feel sorry for itself or quit on the season despite its struggles.

“We’re gonna stay locked in….it sucks to lose….we’re not going to lay down,” Champagnie said.

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The Brooklyn, New York native knows the defense will continue to be a major point in practice going forward, starting tomorrow, but “we can’t rely on our offense to beat teams,” the forward concluded with.

St. John’s will return home to face the Butler Bulldogs (3-5, 2-3 Big East) on Tuesday, January 12 at 7:00pm EST (Fox Sports 1).