NEW YORK (AP) — Shamorie Ponds had 16 of his season-high 32 points in the final seven minutes to help St. John’s beat California 82-79 on Monday night in the Legends Classic at the Barclays Center.
Ponds made 11 of 15 from the field, including three 3-pointers, and 7 of 7 from the free-throw line — including six in the final 2½ minutes. It’s the 6-foot-1 junior’s seventh career game scoring at least 30 points.
Ponds scored the first seven points during an 11-3 run that gave St. John’s a 69-68 lead with 3:52 left. LJ Figueroa made two free throws and then, after a steal by Ponds, chased down two offensive rebounds before his putback capped the stretch. Juhwan Harris-Dyson’s layup trimmed Cal’s deficit to 75-74 with 1:28 left but Ponds answered with a 3 and, after Justice Sueing hit a jumper, Ponds made two foul shots to make it 80-76 with 19 seconds left.
Darius McNeill tied his career high with five 3-pointers and finished with 21 points for Cal (1-2).
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