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Preview: St. John’s at Georgetown

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GRAY OUT!

NCAA Basketball: Villanova at Georgetown Brad Mills-USA TODAY Sports

Game 19: St. John’s Red Storm (10-9, 0-7) at Georgetown Hoyas (12-6, 2-5)

When: Saturday noon

Where: Capital One Arena

Series: St. John’s leads 57-52

Last Meeting: Georgetown 69, St. John’s 66 - Jan 9, 2018

TV: FS1

Online: Fox Sports Go

KenPom: Georgetown 74-73, 52 percent

Line: Georgetown -1.5, o/u 145

With little time to feel sorry for themselves after suffering the program’s worst ever loss in BIG EAST play, Georgetown takes on St. John’s in the second game of a three game homestand on Saturday afternoon.

Even as heavy underdogs against a team that may very well contend for a national championship, Georgetown struggled mightily midweek.

The Hoyas trailed for more than 39 minutes and needed a late 12-0 run to avoid being doubled up by top ranked Villanova on Wednesday.

Jessie Govan was the lone Hoya in double-figures with 12 points while each player had an equal role in a non existent defense that allowed the Wildcats to shoot 60 percent from the field and 52 percent from deep. It was Georgetown’s seventh straight loss to the Wildcats.

Now for as much as Georgetown has struggled against Villanova of late, the Hoyas have been equally as dominant against longtime rivals St. John’s – particularly at home. Georgetown has won 12 straight games at home against St. John’s dating back to 2004.

Georgetown will be going for the season sweep after winning at Madison Square Garden on Jan 9.

While there aren’t any medals being handed out for playing close games within the league, St. John’s has done that for the most part. In starting the conference season 0-7, St. John’s has already played the top four teams with three of those game coming on the road. The Red Storm’s largest defeat in those four games is just seven points.

Here’s a quick look at those results:

LOSS @ No. 11 Xavier, 88-82

LOSS No. 1 Villanova, 78-71

LOSS @ Creighton, 78-71

LOSS @ No. 23 Seton Hall, 75-70

So while this team is stuck at the bottom of the table, St. John’s clearly hasn’t given up. The Red Storm will most likely be fired up heading into a game against a Georgetown team with similar talent.

For Georgetown it will once again come down to taking care of the ball and successfully getting the ball into Govan and Marcus Derrickson. Jonathan Mulmore was limited with foul problems last game while reserve point guard Trey Dickerson played just two minutes after picking up an injury.

Last Meeting: Less than two weeks ago, Georgetown won despite committing 22 turnovers and shooting just 33 percent. In a matchup that was given heavy attention as former Dream Teamers and collegiate rivals Patrick Ewing and Chris Mullin squared off, the viewers weren’t treated to a fundamentally sound contest.

While St. John’s only - ONLY - had 14 turnovers, they shot 37 percent from the field and made just 4 of 20 shots from deep. Jagan Mosely had one of his better games of the season with 13 points and five assists but the New Jersey native also committed six turnovers. Govan had 18 points and 13 rebounds and hit the late all crucial 3-pointer to put the game away. Shamorie Ponds had 17 points but just two came after halftime.

Bottom Three: With the Top 7 teams in the league once again looking like strong contenders to make the NCAA Tournament, Georgetown finds itself in the Bottom 3 along with St. John’s and DePaul. For the Hoyas, finishing eighth would actually be outperforming preseason projections.

A season sweep for the Hoyas over the Red Storm would go a long way towards burying St. John’s at the bottom. At that point it would be down to Georgetown vs DePaul for that eighth spot.

As it stands going into Saturday:

8 Georgetown 2-5 (vs St. John’s)

9 DePaul 1-5 (vs Butler)

10 St. John’s 0-7 (at Georgetown)

Home Dominance: As mentioned earlier Georgetown has defeated St. John’s 12 straight times at home by an average of 16 points. The Hoyas have won each of the past three meetings by at least 22 points.

Georgetown last lost to St. John’s at home on January 18, 2003 by a score of 77-72. The Red Storm came back from a 17-point deficit with under 10 minutes to go mainly behind Marcus Hatten who had 19 of his game-high 34 points during that stretch.

Just for fun, Georgetown’s starting lineup from that day was as follows:

Gerald Riley

Tony Bethel

Brandon Bowman

Mike Sweetney

Wesley Wilson

Prediction: St. John’s 75, Georgetown 70

The Red Storm aren’t going to go 0-18 in the league and they’ve been playing the good teams tight. The Hoyas will be hard pressed to shake off that lopsided loss at the hands of Villanova.