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Game #32: 2009 Big East Tournament: St. John's 64, Georgetown 59

Box score

The St. John's Red Storm defeat the Georgetown Hoyas 64-59 in the first round of the Big East Tournament. The win means the Johnnies get to see game #33 against the Marquette Golden Eagles, 2.00 pm Eastern.

Apparently in an attempt to make the 16-team Big East tournament an exciting, upset-laden tradition, the Big East heads spiked the pregame meals of the Cincinnati Bearcats and the Georgetown Hoyas with Mo-Doz, Ambien, and You-Got-Knocked-the-F-Out pills.

Because that's the only way to explain how both teams were upset by inferior talent. A big second half by the St. John's Red Storm's Sean Evans, a big day by Paris Horne (23 pts, 2 steals, 5 rebounds) and for some reason that Nikita Mescheriakov plays many more minutes than his talent would dictate.

Let me not rip on the kid from Belarus, he only played 15 minutes. The Hoyas 3-point shooting was at 21% vs. 33% for the Red Storm, but that wasn't it...

St. John's won the offensive rebounding battle again. Sean Evans in particular picked up 8 offensive boards, and 14 rebounds overall? Didn't anyone try to stop that guy?

And hitting nearly 83% of their 29 foul shots (more attempts than the Hoyas' 27) - that's a crisp performance that this team needs to bottle for next year. Free throws matter.

The Hoya fans are NOT happy with JTIII. Perhaps losing to St. John's TWICE is much like U Conn's inexplicable inability to handle Tim Welsh's Providence team last year; it is definitely indicative of a disconnect between his players and how they grasp his system.

It'll be better next year, which I am not so sure you can say about St. John's. But for now, this is a great moment.

St John's over Georgetown Hoyas

Postgame Media

Boxscore | Statsheet | Postgame Quotes

NY Daily News: St. John's storms on in Big East tournament with win over Georgetown

Malik Boothe let out a holler after throwing an alley-oop to D.J. Kennedy. Sean Evans sprawled on the floor to collect yet another loose ball. And at the end, the St. John's players embraced one another on the court at the Garden.

This is what progress looks like. St. John's lives for another day; Red Storm disposes of Georgetown in Big East Tourney

With former St. John's coach Lou Carnesecca and legendary St. John's guard Chris Mullin looking on from behind the bench, the 13th-seeded Red Storm beat 12th-seeded Georgetown 64-59 to advance to the second round of the Big East Tournament at Madison Square Garden.

It was the Johnnies second win over the Hoyas in eight days at the Garden and their first Big East Tournament win since 2003.

But there won't be much time to celebrate.

St. John's (16-16), which missed the tournament a year ago when only the top 12 teams qualified, must turn around and face No. 5 Marquette (23-8) on Wednesday at 2 p.m.

"You want to be in the tournament, you're in the tournament," St. John's coach Norm Roberts said.

"I said to them that the bottom line is, 'Here's the moment. You are either going to define the moment or you are going to let the moment define you.'"

Newsday: St. John's shows strong first step, trips Hoyas

"St. John's hasn't beaten Georgetown for a while," said Justin Burrell, whose slam and free throw with 1:34 left put the Red Storm up by five. "And now, we've swept them this year. I can't wait to see that in the media guide next season."

Five Boro Sports: St. John's holds off Hoyas for Big East tournament win

The Red Storm didn’t fold, but answered.

"You can see we all have grown," Horne said

D.J. Kennedy added, "We knew we had to be more physical and make more shots."

Horne took care of that down the stretch completing a 3-point play on a scoop shot in the lane and then buried a 3-pointer from the left side on pass from Malik Boothe, who was shouting "It’s good. It’s good," as Horne released it to give St. John’s a four-point lead. Burrell followed with a 3-point play of his own to give St. John’s a 59-54 lead with 1:18 left to play.

Staten Island Advance: Storm surge: St. John's tops Georgetown in Big East Tournament

And maybe, whatever happens to the 13th-seeded Red Storm tomorrow against No. 5 Marquette, things are finally ready to turn for St. John's. Mason should be eligible to return next season. Former St. Raymond's swingman Omari Lawrence is on the way after a season at South Kent, as is JUCO transfer Dwight Hardy, who graduated from John F. Kennedy in the Bronx.

New York Times/ The Quad: St. John’s and Georgetown Get Physical

Chicago Tribune: St. John's ends Georgetown's NCAA hopes with 69-54 victory in Big East tournament

Georgetown, at one point this season, was a top 10 team. It may require a team of world-renowned archaeologists to unearth some proof of that now, as the ostensibly talented Hoyas spiraled into NCAA Tournament oblivion well before they took the floor for the Big East Tournament on Tuesday.

What remained was the question of just how capable Georgetown is of making some noise at Madison Square Garden, whether that talent would upend expectations and emerge from the doldrums.

It didn't. So it won't.

Instead, St. John's resuscitated its fledgling postseason hopes with a 64-59 victory, the second straight win for a lower-seeded team on the first day of the Big East Tournament.