In a season filled with twists and turns for the Georgetown Hoyas, Saturday may have proven to be the final twist. Or turn, depending on the order of how twists and turns work.
The Hoyas made the trek up to New York for a game in the palatial Madison Square Garden against the St. John’s Red Storm. And speaking of twists and turns, the Red Storm’s season has been marked with a turn and a twist at every corner. Or rather a case of Newton’s Third Law of Motion in action that for every St. John’s loss there has been an equal and opposite St. John’s win in successive games.
It also just so happened that St. John’s was riding into this game fresh off of a loss to Marquette, which could only mean that a win was on the cards today.
A win it was, as the Johnnies defeated the Hoyas by a score of 86-80, bringing Chris Mullin’s red army to a mark of 7-9 in conference play with two games left on the docket against Creighton and Providence.
There is still an air of possibility for the Red Storm to reach a much-vaunted .500 mark in conference play for this season. Something that I have most likely mentioned in all or most post game reports this season that it can still be done. This win also brings St. John’s to an overall mark of 13-16 on the season. No, .500 for an overall is not on the cards just yet, but they could finish a game below if they win those last two games.
For Georgetown, this loss brings them to a mark 5-11 in conference play and most likely—actually most definitely sinks their this season with two games left two play. Overall, this loss brings them to an overall record of 14-15, meaning that in a strange way the Hoyas could still in some way finish above .500 despite being second-to-last in the Big East.
As for the actual game itself, it was a great game from the neutral perspective, as it had a bit of everything. Pitched action from opening tip, to late game contingency fouls, to St. John’s dishing 3-pointers with ease and to Georgetown opening up their own turnover bakery.
Yes, the Hoyas were mistake-prone this game as they committed a grand total of 22 turnovers over the duration of 40 minutes of play. At one point in the first half they had 13 points and 13 turnovers at the same time, nearly attempting the odd and most likely rare perfect point-for-turnover pace. The lion’s share came in the first half though, as they walked into the locker room with a 36-35 lead while having committed 16 turnovers.
The biggest culprit of “Loose hands don’t sink baskets” was L.J. Peak, who ended the frame with four turnovers. In general, Peak would also be the game leader as he finished the day with six turnovers total. The good news for Georgetown though was they did manage to cut down in the second half, only committing six over the final 20 minutes. It is also worth mentioning that by comparison, St. John’s only committed nine turnovers the whole game, just three more than what Peak committed standalone.
Fouls were another interesting yet glaring issue this game as Kaleb Johnson fouled out for Georgetown while three other Hoyas ran into serious trouble with four. On top of that, Bradley Hayes was called for a technical. On the reverse side of things, St. John’s had three players this game who ran into serious foul trouble with four apiece. The outcome of St. John’s’ fouls allowed for Georgetown to worm their way back into this game with a late game run in to get to foul line for the double bonus swing. It nearly worked, but the Red Storm managed to hang on in the end with a little tightening up and a dash of circumstance: Georgetown would foul out of attrition.
For St. John’s this game, they shot the ball at a rate of 44 percent from the floor, 54 percent from 3-point range, and 81 percent from the foul line. Their leading scorer on the game was Shamorie Ponds who posted a 24-point game, his first game 20+ game since January 29th when he scored 23 points against Xavier.
Rounding out the scoring threats for the Red Storm were Federico Mussini with 16 points in a game where it felt like he was the one making the shots at crucial points in the game and Marcus LoVett who posted 11 points on the day. St. John’s lost the battle on the boards today with only 29 total rebounds to Georgetown’s 36. They did however outscore the Hoyas in points off turnovers (25-13) and bench points (28-11).
On the reverse side of things, Georgetown shot the ball at a rate of 53 percent from the floor, 44 percent from 3-point range, and 76 percent from the foul line. Their leading scorer on the day was Rodney Pryor who put up 22 points. The Hoyas other big scoring options were Peak with 20 points and Jessie Govan who posted 13. The Hoyas thrived today in the paint scoring 36 of their 80 points down low.
Georgetown and St. John’s have finished their regular season series with a split record, with the Hoyas winning earlier in conference play in Washington and the Red Storm taking home a win Saturday in New York. Most likely, this tilt will be the final time that they will be play each other for this season unless they meet up in the Big East Tournament in a few weeks time.