MILWAUKEE — Different day, same script.
Close against an elite opponent until crunch time.
Good, just not good enough.
St. John’s maddening inability to close out a game continued Saturday night in a frustrating 86-75 loss to No. 7 Marquette that saw the Johnnies blow a 15-point, first-half lead at sold-out Fiserv Forum.
They had no answer for reigning Big East Player of the Year Tyler Kolek.
After a hot shooting start, the 3-pointers stopped falling.
And St. John’s once-promising NCAA Tournament hopes took another hit, in its sixth loss in eight games.
It fell to 2-8 in Quad 1 games, and is running out of chances to boost its tournament resume.
Coming out of the final media timeout, St. John’s trailed by just two, but Nahiem Alleyne and Chris Ledlum missed layups and Marquette pushed the lead to six with 2:15 left to end any hopes for the Johnnies.
Daniss Jenkins did all he could, scoring 22 points and adding six assists.
RJ Luis had 13 and Alleyne 12. Joel Soriano’s struggles continued in another no-show, a two-point, four-rebound effort.
He didn’t even start the second half.
Kolek had 27 points, 13 assists and seven rebounds and Steve Mitchell had 14.
St. John’s was outscored by 20 after halftime and allowed Marquette to shoot a robust 59.4 percent from the field.