The Big East Tournament is up and running as St. John’s and Georgetown squared off in the first game of this year’s tournament that might go down as a classic for Red Storm basketball as St. John’s stormed back with a 23-point run in the latter minutes of the second half to knock out the Hoyas by a final score of 75-62.
What a run it was for the Red Storm. Midway through the second half, as it seemed the Hoyas would potentially pull away to carry the game, a switch turned on and St. John’s came back for the largest comeback in program history. The previous mark was a 15 point come back before tonight’s game. It was a mixture of forcing the Hoyas into uncomfortable situations and finding the hot hands on offense to seize the moment. The hot hand in this case was Marcellus Earlington who switched on in the second half scoring 17 of his 19 points in what seemed like quick succession. For his efforts, he finished as runner up in the scoring to LJ Figueroa who posted a 22 point game for the Johnnies. He had 11 points in both halves and over all played excellent tonight for the Red Storm. Interestingly the bulk of the scoring for St. John’s was done by both the previously mentioned players. It should also be noted that Earlington finished tonight with a double-double as well with 10 rebounds to go along with his 19 points.
In terms of fouls, the Red Storm largely avoided getting into any foul trouble which did not bode well for the Hoyas who only made eight trips in total the foul line all of which came in the second half.
The real damage though that St. John’s wrecked on Georgetown was in the form of turnovers which ended up being the Achilles heel of Wednesday night’s game for the Hoyas ,as Georgetown committed 21 turnovers over the span of the game. Still though, there were bright spots for the Hoyas in this game as Terrell Allen led the way with a 21 point game on 9-of-15 shooting and Jamarko Pickett posted a double-double night of 13 points and 10 rebounds. The majority of his scoring came in the first half when Georgetown were much more consistent on offense but then again it was Allen and Pickett who were driving that offense. Once their play dipped so did much of the Hoyas. Omer Yurtseven was able to get into the game from the bench. He finished tonight with 8 points and five rebounds.
As a team, the Red Storm shot the ball tonight at a rate of 26-of-69 for 38% from the floor, 8-of-26 for 31% from beyond the arc, and 15-of-19 for 79% from the foul line. Georgetown on the other hand shot the ball at a rate of 25-of-55 for 45% from the floor, 7-of-24 for 24% from beyond the arc, and 5-of-8 for 63% from the foul line. Rebounds were even with St. John’s getting 38 boards to the 39 rebounds that Georgetown grabbed. Lastly St. John’s score 13 points from the bench compared to Georgetown’s 8 bench points but then again the Red Storm rotated much more compared to the Hoyas.
With this one in the books St. John’s moves onto tomorrow to play Creighton at noon. It should be a fun one and the mood among the Red Storm players is definitely high as Marcellus Earlington noted post game that we feel like we can beat anyone.