Your Georgetown Hoyas had a great chance to win their second BIG EAST game in a row, but dropped one late to the St. John’s Red Storm at Madison Square Garden on Sunday afternoon. The Hoyas confidently led for about 17 minutes of the second half until they eventually succumbed to late-game issues of turnovers and second-chance points. Fan feelings are mixed due generally to the 1-28 record spanning 1.5 conference seasons, but there’s no denying that hopes were higher coming off the DePaul win. Talking after the game, Ewing said, “If I listened to all y’all, I probably would’ve jumped off a bridge by now.”
We need this humor at home https://t.co/pXd0XPfyIl— Bobby Bancroft (@BobbyBancroft) January 29, 2023
While the game did come down to the last two plays, Georgetown lost this one by coughing up the lead through not handling SJU’s defense in the last three minutes. The decision to go zone was a good move but the Johnnies extended the play long enough to find an open three look. Likewise, the final inbounds play worked damn well but just didn’t fall in for Mozone.
The Johnnies survive Georgetown pic.twitter.com/TqStlmuyCO— Big East Buckets (@BigEastBuckets_) January 29, 2023
If fans remember the first half of the game, sometimes it is just luck. While Georgetown finished the first period on a 14-0 run capped with Murray’s buzzer beater, St. John’s finished on a 20-9 run sealed with Storr’s three.
But the underlying reasons for success in each period weren’t luck. In the first half, the Hoyas has 9 steals, 8 fast break points, and 15 points off turnovers. In the second, SJU had 12 second-chance points, 13 points off turnovers, and 22 points in the paint. The Johnnies relied on their defense to jump-start their offense.
At the under-8 media timeout, Georgetown led 64-57 and only had four turnovers in the second half. During the rest of the game, St. John’s caused 5 more turnovers, scored 8 points in the paint, attempted 10 free throws, and ended up on top 75-73.
Sure, the Hoyas can improve late-game situations and free throws, but concepts like playing more zone, using sets to create more perimeter looks, and controlling the pace to reduce turnovers will prove to be better improvements in this last month of conference play.
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The winning 3-pointer by Storr capped a game-ending 20-9 run for St. John’s (14-8, 4-7 Big East), which snapped a two-game losing streak. David Jones scored 10 of his team-high 17 points in the run, including a pair of free throws that gave the Red Storm a 72-70 lead with 46.2 seconds remaining. Dylan Addae-Wusu finished with 15 points while Storr had 12. Joel Soriano (12 points, 15 rebounds) posted his 18th double-double of the season.
Primo Spears scored 25 points for Georgetown (6-16, 1-10 Big East), which was trying to win consecutive regular-season conference games for the first time in nearly two years (Feb. 27-Mar. 2, 2021). Brandon Murray had 17 points while Qudus Wahab added 14 points. St. John’s had a pair of 10-point leads in the first half before the Hoyas surged. Georgetown ended the half on a 14-0 run to take a 39-35 lead. Georgetown opened the second of its two nine-point leads on a layup by Murray, making the score 64-55 with 8:22 left.
Trailing by as many as nine points with 8:22 remaining, St. John’s received a major boost from junior wing David Jones who scored eight-straight points in the final four minutes of action before Storr buried the dagger. Jones finished with a team-high 17 points, including 12 points in the final stanza, to go with seven boards and two assists in 27 minutes off the bench.
Storr finished with 12 points on 5-of-13 shooting from the floor. The Rockford, Ill., native also set career highs with seven rebounds, five assists and four steals. Joel Soriano churned out his 18th double-double of the season for St. John’s (14-8, 4-7 BIG EAST), finishing with 12 points and 15 rebounds. The senior center from Yonkers scored half of his points at the free-throw line and grabbed 11 offensive boards. Dylan Addae-Wusu was the fourth Johnnie to record double-figures, as the junior from the Bronx registered 15 points and shot 4-for-6 from 3-point territory. Addae-Wusu also dished out four assists.
Announced attendance today at MSG was 11,455.— Kevin Connelly (@KevinConnelly24) January 29, 2023
Nice crowd to watch St. John's and Georgetown #sjubb
The Red Storm’s comeback was slow due to their softness at the rim throughout the whole contest. To their credit, they got to the rim 39 times. However, they needed to make more than 19 of those shots. The refs let them play in the paint, so there certainly could’ve been more fouls called. The Johnnies instead relied on trying to spin and flip the ball in rather finishing strong. With under 4 minutes to go in the contest, the struggling David Jones put the team on his back by scoring 8 straight points and brought the Johnnies within 2. With 4 seconds left in the contest, Andre Curbelo kicks the ball out to AJ Storr who knocked down a three to give St. John’s its first lead since the George 14-0 run to close out the first half. Nala Burton Images 2022 Georgetown took 3 seconds to get the ball across half court when Curbelo knocked the ball out of bounds. Bryson Mozone attempted a shot from deep for the Hoyas that didn’t connect, and the Red Storm come back to win, 75-73.
Storr was seeing limited playing time for most of the season, but he didn’t get down about it. He kept working, and has now started six straight games, reaching double figures in scoring four times. “I knew that things were going to eventually go well,” Storr said. “I just stayed positive and stayed in the gym.” The feel-good victory, however, won’t do much to change the nature of this season unless a long winning streak follows. St. John’s nearly lost at home to the worst team in the league.
It still has a 2-7 record in Quad 1 and 2 games, and is in eighth-place in the Big East, needing a strong finish just to reach the NIT. But Sunday afternoon, St. John’s at least had reason to smile in what has otherwise been another disappointing season. The fact that Storr, who the program hopes is a building block for the future, made the game-winning shot added to the positive vibes.
Despite leading for a majority of the second half, the Georgetown University men’s basketball team could not stave off a surging St. John’s squad after the Red Storm knocked down the game-winning triple with just four ticks left on the clock. Bryson Mozone was able to get a shot off at the buzzer but his attempt didn’t go in as the Johnnies held on for the 75-73 victory.
ON THE RECORD “We went to a zone to mix it up – something we haven’t run today, so we thought it would throw [St. John’s] off. We just didn’t get a stop. Then at the end of the game we got a great shot. We executed the play to perfection, Bryson Mozone was wide open, it just didn’t go in.” - Head Coach Patrick Ewing on the final play
“This is a game we had opportunities to win … Turnovers, we had six turnovers at halftime, ended up with 15, had nine in the second half. We talked about in our scouting report, we have to limit their offensive rebounds - they got 20. Those are things that we have to be able to take care of. The turnover game, the offensive rebound games, then when you’re up with three minutes to go, we have to take good shots, we have to not turn the ball over and even if we’re not scoring, they can’t score … You have to be able to defend without fouling and then take care of the ball.” Ewing on the overall game