“Winning is always a better feeling, there’s no question about that,” said coach Chris Mullin. “To me it’s always more important how you handle losses. The wins are going to come if you keep doing the right thing. They understand and I think we’re starting to make strides.”
Ellison drained seven of his 10 tries from the field, including a 5-of-6 effort from beyond the arc, finishing the game with a career-high 23 points and four assists in 33 minutes of action.
“We really needed this one,” he said after the game. “Coach Mullin has been preaching all season, but especially this week, that we need to come into this last game at Carnesecca with a lot of energy and fight.”
Ellison led four Johnnies (9-11, 3-4) in double figures, as Shamorie Ponds scored 11 of his 14 points in the second half and finished 4-of-8 from three-point territory. The freshman from Brooklyn also dished out a game-high six assists and registered three steals.
Bashir Ahmed also netted 14 points for the Johnnies, while Tariq Owens narrowly missed a double-double with 10 points and nine rebounds. The sophomore from Maryland also tallied four blocks, his eighth game this season with at least four rejections.
The Red Storm drained 12 of its 22 attempts from downtown, the team’s highest single game total since the Johnnies went 12-of-27 from deep against Syracuse on December 21.
The effort also marked the third time this season that St. John’s has shot 50 percent or better from three.
With the win, the Red Storm has now surpassed its win total from last season with more than a third of the campaign still remaining.
St. John’s thrived in transition against the Blue Demons (8-11, 1-5), scoring 20 fast-break points to DePaul’s two.
The Red Storm returns to action on Sunday afternoon, traveling to Newark for a noon showdown with the Pirates of Seton Hall.