February 17, 2014

Revenge of the Johnnies

February 17, 2014 - The last time Georgetown played St. John's, John Thompson III's team went up 20-6, withstood a Johnnie rally and celebrated the eventual 77-60 win. G'Town's home court, Verizon Center, was a happy place January 4th.

Fast forward to NYC's Madison Square Garden last night. As if in converse to the previous game, St. John's jumped out to a big lead, fought off the Hoyas' second half charge, and stashed away a 82-60 victory. In this case, the Madison Square Garden crowd hit Manhattan's streets largely satisfied.

Revenge had been served.

The game was essentially salted away a little more than six minutes from the start, with SJU freshman Rysheed Jordan serving as the catalyst. Along the way to a career high in scoring, Jordan was the chief instigator of St. John's 15-0 opening tear, scoring the team's first seven points, nine over that period, while also breaking down the Hoyas' defense (add an assist and steal during that run). Jordan finished with 24 points and three dimes.

The Hoyas, down 18 at intermission put together a 17-4 second half run of their own, getting to within seven after senior swingman Aaron Bowen's layup with 10:49 remaining. A subsequent timeout regrouped the Johnnies who went on to receive nine points both from junior guard D'Angelo Harrison and Jordan the rest of the way, including the latter's game sealing wind mill dunk with just 42 seconds to play.

The Johnnies would actually finish the game on a 15-3 run after G'Town junior swingman Jabril Trawick's technical foul, his fifth violation, and subsequent disqualification. Trawick was rung up with 6:11 on the clock after tussling with SJU's sophomore center Chris Obekpa, a questionable call considering replays showed Obekpa pulling Trawick's arms and elbowing him in the cheek, to which he received a shiner. Losing Trawick, who finished with 13 points and three rebounds off the bench seemed to take the remaining wind from G'Town's sails.

Thompson, as relayed by the Washington Post, noted after getting the score to "a workable number", his team "made some bad decisions, which allowed them to pull it back out".

Senior point guard Markel Starks, playing 40 minutes, equaled Trawick in point production for Georgetown. Sophomore guard D'Vauntes Smith-Rivera led the team with 15 points, adding three assists in 39 minutes.

Senior forward Nate Lubick tied SJU's Harrison for a game high six rebounds, the latter meeting Jordan's mark of 24 points. G'Town's Bowen had nine points, while sophomore forward Jakarr Sampson contributed 12 points, four rebounds and senior big man Orlando Sanchez logged nine points and five rebounds for the Johnnies.

Team shooting numbers: G'Town sank 44.7% of its shots, yet went 3-13 (23.1%) from three point land. SJU managed impressive 57.4%, 42.9% clips, respectively.

G'Town also lost the battle on the boards (27-22) and in assists (17-11), while having the same amount of shot attempts, 47. That pretty much says it all.

The Johnnies are now 17-9, 7-6 in the BIG EAST, a game ahead of Georgetown's 6-7 league mark. The Hoyas stand 15-10 on the season.

Up next for G'Town is a trip to New Jersey, where the ever-dangerous Seton Hall Pirates await Wednesday. Tip-off is 9p EST.

SJU next sees Butler, at home on Tuesday, with the game starting at 9p EST.

Discuss the game on Premium Court.

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