The Georgetown Hoyas (13-7, 3-4) beat the St. John’s Red Storm (15-5, 3-5) at Madison Square Garden, 89-78, as Patrick Ewing’s squad withstood the Johnnies’ last-minute push thanks to some solid ball handling and defense down the stretch.
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Mac McClung scored 25 points, Jessie Govan added 20 with nine rebounds and Georgetown beat St. John’s 89-78 on Sunday.
McClung was 9-of-19 shooting with four 3-pointers and slammed home a dunk in transition with 1:11 to go for an 81-77 lead after the Red Storm missed three shots on their possession. A block by Govan led to another easy transition basket by Josh LeBlanc for the Hoyas (13-7, 3-4 Big East) as they avenged a 97-94 overtime loss to St. John’s in Washington on Jan. 5.
With just under 4 minutes remaining, Sedee Keita, who had possibly his best game at St. John’s, laid one in to cut the lead to three. But the late game execution failed the team.
In the last 2 minutes, the Red Storm then put themselves in a positions to win, a couple calls went their way, and a lay-up by Shamorie Ponds cuts the lead to 79-77.
With a chance to tie, St. John’s got the ball to the rim and had four chances at a tip-in, missing all of them. With the Johnnies trailing the play, Georgetown responded with a couple of dunks (the first by Mac McClung to cap his game), and the Red Storm only had 40 seconds to overcome a 4-point deficit.
“We feel like we’ve been in every game so far,” senior center Jessie Govan said. “We’ve just been making mistakes on our own end. We don’t feel like any team has been beating us. We feel like we’ve been beating ourselves. To come out today and get a win on a road floor in front of a hostile crowd, that’s pretty good for us.”
After the Red Storm scored five straight to take a 42-41 lead with 18:12 remaining, the Hoyas responded with a four-point possession, as Govan hit a free throw and then a 3-pointer off an offensive rebound on the second attempt. After senior forward Marvin Clark knotted things up at 50 for the Johnnies, the Hoyas responded with a 10-0 run, capped by a 3-pointer from junior guard Jagan Mosely with 13:01 remaining.
The Johnnies would respond with multiple runs over the course of the second half, but were never able to forge ahead of the Hoyas.
This week, Govan scored 22 points and had 12 rebounds in a loss to Creighton at home but followed that up with 20 points and nine rebounds in a road win at St. John’s.
All of it adds up to Govan cracking into the rankings for the first time this season.
In his first game at Madison Square Garden, Mac McClung more than made himself at home.
The former Gate City High School standout finished with a game-high 25 points in leading the Georgetown University Hoyas to an 89-78 Big East Conference win over St. John’s on Sunday afternoon.
As usual, McClung starred with the spotlight shining bright.
The Storm had everything right in front of them on Sunday. They were playing a Georgetown team they already had beaten. The game was at Madison Square Garden, and 17,801 nearly filled the joint. And despite its recent travails, St. John’s was in position to move into third place in the Big East.
But the Red Storm showed only small stretches of the passion that at one point had them 14-1 and nationally ranked, while the Hoyas were inspired after a slew of close defeats. The Storm managed to pull it together and had a chance to go ahead or at least tie it in the final minutes, but they came up short, 89-78.
Heron claims that the team simply “went through the motions” in the first half of the game. It was their first game in eight days, and he said that both players and coaches were coasting during the conference matchup, which...isn’t great, after such a massive chunk of time off.
What’s interesting is that St. John’s actually held a 41-37 lead at the conclusion of the first half before going on to lose 89-78. It would seem that the Red Storm shut down in the second half, rather than the first, like Heron suggested they did.
So Mustapha Heron admitted post-game St Johns went through the motions in first half. After 8 days off. That’s hard to comprehend. That’s in the coaches AND the players. #sjubb— Zach Braziller (@NYPost_Brazille) January 27, 2019
As a team, Georgetown shot 7-of-14 (50.0 percent) from beyond the arc in the second half alone. Overall, the Hoyas drained 13 treys for the whole game.
”We believe we have a lot of good shooters on our team,” Ewing said. “We have good shooters and we can move the ball. They did a good job of doubling Jessie from behind, and our guys stepped up and did a good job of hitting shots.”
McClung, the freshman Georgetown guard, scored a game-high 25 points in the win. He also had five boards and five assists. Govan chipped in 20 points and nine rebounds, while LeBlanc finished with 15 points.
This was supposed to be a nonstop flight toward a splendid destiny.
Instead, it is last place in the Big East.
This time it was an 89-78 loss at the Garden to Georgetown in front of 17,801 fans who were mostly clad in red and mostly departed muttering to themselves. The Johnnies played as they have too often lately: There were a couple of four-and-five minutes stretches where they were engaged, interested and prosperous.
In conference play, James Akinjo is leading all Big East players in assists (7.0 apg). His assist to turnover ratio sits at a shade under 2.5-1.— YaBoyNYP (@yaboynyp) January 28, 2019
A 3-pointer by Jamorko Pickett began a 10-0 run to give the Hoyas a 60-50 lead with 13 minutes left and they led the rest of the way. Ponds scored four straight points to get within 79-77 before McClung’s big dunk.
“I think you’ll look at some of [Georgetown’s 3-point field goals], and they made some NBA threes that we played them pretty close,” St. John’s coach Chris Mullin said. “Sometimes good offense beats good defense. That’s the difference in this game. [Georgetown] made 13 threes. There were a few that I thought were tough shots. I thought they played a really good game.
LeBlanc with the SLAM from a beautiful McClung feed— Georgetown Hoops (@GeorgetownHoops) January 27, 2019
- FOX pic.twitter.com/K9yOCnuIAh
With the Red Storm trailing Georgetown by two points with about 1:20 remaining, L.J. Figueroa made a steal at midcourt and the Garden crowd let out a tremendous roar because the home team had at chance to tie the game after trailing for much of the second half. Figueroa opted for a pull-up 3-pointer from the left arc that rimmed out, and St. John’s then had one, two, three, four good looks at a putback that would’ve tied the game.
None of them went through the net, Georgetown big man Jessie Govan ended up with the ball and fed Mac McClung for an uncontested dunk on the other end.
“I think we gotta regroup and get back to our winning ways,” Ponds assessed as St. John’s (15-5, 3-5 Big East) looked engaged in the opening minutes, feeding off Clark and LJ Figueroa, the latter in his latest revelation as the most valuable player in the Red Storm arsenal, to hang with the Hoyas until -- as has been the case far too often since the schedule shifted to conference play and the quality of opponents ramped up exponentially for a team whose best non-league win was an overtime victory over VCU that may or may not have been aided by questionable officiating -- the ball stopped moving, the defense grew stagnant, and Georgetown simply out-hustled St. John’s when it mattered most.
Isaac Copeand Jr.’s career as a Cornhuskers came to a close against Ohio State on Saturday night. The senior forward from Raleigh, NC tore his ACL in his left knee after coming down from a dunk on the basket. He had been called for traveling right before going up for said dunk. Making the basket null and void and also adding insult to injury.