NEW YORK — Shamorie Ponds scored 20 of his 26 points in the first half, dominating a highly anticipated matchup between two of the nation's top guards, and St. John's rebounded impressively from its first loss of the season by routing No. 16 Marquette 89-69 on Tuesday night at Carnesecca Arena.
Marvin Clark II had 22 points and Mustapha Heron added all 16 of his after halftime for the Red Storm (13-1, 1-1 Big East), who snapped Marquette's eight-game winning streak.
With leading scorer Markus Howard held to eight points on 2-for-15 shooting, the Golden Eagles (11-3, 0-1) got blown out in their conference opener. Howard entered averaging 25.1 points per game, best in the Big East and ranked fifth in the country.
Joey Hauser had 15 points to lead Marquette, which went 6 for 21 from 3-point range (28.6 percent).
The anticipated matchup between Howard and Ponds was no contest from the start. Ponds came out sizzling and scored eight points in the first 2:37, matching his total on 2-for-13 shooting in the loss at Seton Hall.
The 6-foot-1 junior from Brooklyn, the Big East preseason player of the year, then scored the final nine points of the first half for the Red Storm, including a long 3-pointer that gave them a 39-31 lead the break.
It was reminiscent of last February, when Ponds set an arena record with 44 points in an 86-78 win over Marquette.
Meanwhile, the 5-foot-11 Howard went 1 for 10 in the first half and never got going. He picked up four fouls and played only 26 minutes.