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Marquette holds off St. John’s 101-93 in Big East Tournament

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NEW YORK — Henry Ellenson had 27 points and 14 rebounds, Jajuan Johnson scored 23 points and Marquette held off a furious rally by feisty St. John’s for a 101-93 victory Wednesday night, March 9th in the Big East Tournament.

Haanif Cheatham added 19 points for the seventh-seeded Golden Eagles (20-12). They advanced to play fifth-ranked and second-seeded Xavier in the quarterfinals Thursday night.

Facing a last-place team that managed only one conference victory all season, Marquette built a 17-point lead midway through the second half but then briefly fell behind in the final minutes. Ellenson and his teammates made just enough plays down the stretch to avoid an upset that would have all but ended any flickering hopes they have of an NCAA bid.

Christian Jones scored a career-high 29 points for the 10th-seeded Red Storm (8-24). They dropped 21 of their final 22 games in former star Chris Mullin’s first season as coach.