McMorris' 3 lifts No. 23 Marquette past St. John's
The Marquette coach wanted Tatiyiana McMorris to take the last shot, and it paid off, as she made a 3-pointer with 3.6 seconds left to give the No. 23 Golden Eagles a 55-52 victory over St. John's on Saturday night.
"Calling Tatiyiana's number, for me, was a no-brainer," Mitchell said. "To be able to put the ball in her hands and call a play that we hadn't run, and just see what was going to happen."
What happened was St. John's first loss in 16 games when leading at halftime, as McMorris finished with 19 points on 6-for-13 shooting to help the Golden Eagles (19-4, 7-3 Big East) win their fourth straight.
"Just another typical Big East game," Mitchell said. "Every time we took a lead they came right back at us."
Nadirah McKenith had 12 points, nine assists and seven rebounds for the Red Storm (16-7, 5-5), and Amanda Burakoski also scored 12 points. Burakoski's three-pointer tied the score at 52-all with 28.5 seconds left.
Marquette called time out to set up its final play, and it worked to perfection. After running time off the clock, McMorris got the ball to the left side of the 3-point line, where she sank her second 3 of the game.
"As soon as coach called 'outside,' I knew we were going to run it for me," McMorris said. "I was praying that it was going in. It was kind of deep, but it went in."
Burakoski's desperation 3-point attempt just inside the halfcourt line fell well short.
"I think it's a difficult loss," St. John's coach Kim Barnes Arico said. "I think they've won a bunch of games that way this year. They stick together and they've done a great job down the stretch. It's a credit to them."
Da'Shena Stevens, who had 11 points for St. John's, was on the bench with four fouls when Marquette used a 7-0 run to take a 41-34 lead with 11:36 left.
When Stevens returned, she led St. John's to an 8-0 run by scoring four points to give her team a 42-41 lead with 9:10 remaining.
Shenneika Smith's two free throws gave St. John's a 44-43 lead, its last of the game.
A jumper by Sarina Simmons gave Marquette a 50-44 lead with 3:27 to play, before St. John's began its rally.
"Confidence-wise, we all felt we were going to get that win, but they had the last possession and were able to pull it off," Burakoski said.