Following a record-shattering pair of performances at the Legends Classic, Shamorie Ponds has been named the BIG EAST Player of the Week, it was announced this afternoon by the league office.
Playing in his home borough for just the second time as a member of the Red Storm, Ponds put on an effort for the ages at Barclays Center. In two wins for the Johnnies, Ponds averaged 33.5 points, 6.0 assists, 4.0 steals and 3.0 rebounds, leading St. John’s to its first victory at a November tournament since the 2010 Great Alaska Shootout. His 67 points shattered the previous two-game Legends Classic record of 52 set by Texas’ AJ Abrams during the inaugural event in 2007.
In 79 minutes running the point, Ponds, who shot 55.0 percent from the floor and 86.4 percent from the free throw line, surrendered just one turnover.
In the tournament opener on Monday against California, Ponds scored 16 of his 32 points in the final seven minutes, helping the Johnnies hold off the Golden Bears and earn a spot in the Legends Classic title tilt. The junior guard did not miss a shot from inside the three-point line, going 11-of-15 from the floor, 3-of-7 from deep and 7-for-7 from the charity stripe. He also dished out a game-high five assists and surrendered no turnovers in 35 minutes of action.
The following night, Ponds scored 25 of his season-high 35 points after halftime, leading the Red Storm to a thrilling 87-86 overtime victory over VCU in the championship game of the Legends Classic. Ponds tallied the Red Storm’s final six points, going 4-for-4 from the free throw line before banking in the game-winning floater following a full-court drive with less than five seconds to play. In addition to his third-career 35-point effort, Ponds also set a new career high with seven steals and recorded seven assists with only one turnover in 44 minutes. The BIG EAST Preseason Player of the Year became just the ninth student-athlete in St. John’s history to record seven or more steals in a single game and the first Johnnie to do so since Sir’Dominic Pointer in 2014.
Last season, Ponds twice garnered BIG EAST Player of the Week honors and was named to the weekly honor roll seven times. He found a spot on the BIG EAST Weekly Honor Roll following the first week of the season this year.
Ponds and the Red Storm return to action tomorrow, playing host to Maryland Eastern Shore at 6:30 p.m. on FS1 and 970 AM WNYM.
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