Jasiulionis’ career night leads St. John’s to 62-59 victory over Marist in Holiday Festival
NEW YORK (AP)—Junior center Tomas Jasiulionis doubled his career high with 12 points, including his first 3-pointer as a collegian, and St. John’s held on for a 62-59 victory over Marist on Friday night in the opening round of the Aeropostale Holiday Festival.
Anthony Mason Jr. also had 12 points for the Red Storm (6-4), who led 57-46 with 4 1/2 minutes to play only to see Marist tie it with 1:37 left.
St. John’s then scored five of the final seven points of the game.
Jay Gavin had 15 points, including eight in the late 11-0 run for the Red Foxes (6-6), who lost their third straight after a five-game winning streak.
The Red Storm will play Virginia Tech, which beat Hofstra 84-59, for the championship on Saturday at Madison Square Garden. St. John’s has won a record 14 Festival titles (Manhattan is second with four) and the win over Marist gave it a 65-35 record in the tournament.
Marist opened the second half by hitting its first five shots while the Red Storm went 1-for-8 from the field. The Red Foxes wiped out a 31-24 halftime deficit with the run and went ahead 38-33 with 16:28 to play on a 3-pointer by David Devezin.
Jasiulionis, a 6-foot-11 native of Lithuania, then had six points in the Red Storm’s 20-4 run that appeared to give them control of the game. His first 3-point attempt of the season—and the sixth of his career—capped the run and made it 53-42 with 6:48 left.
Mason’s breakaway dunk gave the Red Storm a 57-46 lead with 4:31 to go.
Gavin, a reserve freshman guard, hit consecutive 3s and a long jumper that was originally called a 3 but was overruled in review when replays showed his foot was on the line to key the run that suddenly made it a tie game.
Eugene Lawrence’s drive through a wide open lane gave the Red Storm, who had lost four of five, the lead for good with 1:17 to play.
Gavin had a chance to tie it but his 3-point attempt with 3 seconds left bounced off the rim.
Jasiulionis had scored six points in a game four times, including earlier this season against St. Francis, N.Y.
St. John’s, which lost to Hofstra in the title game last season, won its last Festival when it repeated as champion in 2005.
This was Marist’s second Festival appearance. The Red Foxes finished 0-2 in 1987.