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St. John's vs Georgetown: A Rivalry Renewed

Anthony Gruppuso-USA TODAY Sports

A rivalry renewed. The St. John’s Red Storm host perennial rival Georgetown Hoyas Wednesday at the Garden. Chris Mullin faces the Hoyas for the first time as head coach of his alma mater. The Red Storm come into the game off a 81-75 loss at Marquette on Sunday.

Game Information/How to Watch

Who: St. John’s Red Storm (7-10, 0-4) vs. Georgetown Hoyas (10-6, 3-1)

When: Wednesday, January 13, 6:30 PM

Where: Madison Square Garden

TV: Fox Sports 1

Last Meeting: In the last meeting, St. John’s defeated Georgetown 81-70 at Madison Square Garden. Phil Greene led the Johnnies with 26 points.

Scouting Georgetown

Georgetown has been enigmatic this year. The Hoyas lost close games early in the year to powers Maryland and Duke. On the other hand, John Thompson III's squad were upset by Radford, Monmouth, and UNC Asheville. Most recently, the D.C. team defeated Depaul 74-63.

The Hoyas are led by senior D`Vauntes Smith-Rivera. The senior from Indianapolis was selected as a member of the pre-season first team all Big East. He is averaging 15.3 points, 3.1 rebounds and 4.5 assists per game. Recently, he has been doing it all for the Hoyas. On Saturday, Smith-Rivera scored 17 points and added 8 assists tying a career high in assists.

Georgetown's second leading scorer has been struggling recently. Isaac Copeland is averaging 11.4 points. 5.1 rebounds and 2.3 assists. On January 5 against Creighton, Copeland was 0-3 from the field and finished with one point on the night. Last Saturday, the sophomore from North Carolina scored 9 points on 2-10 shooting including 1-6 from three.

Another member of the important sophomore class for the Hoyas is L.J. Peak. He is averaging 10.3 points, 2.8 rebounds and 1.4 assists per game. John Thompson III has started to use Peak off the bench recently to add more bench scoring. It has worked because the South Carolina native scored 17 points on Saturday against Depaul.

Keys to the Game

Attack the Basket: Georgetown is prone to early foul trouble especially their big guys. Without Yankuba Sima, the Johnnies will struggle to match up against legitimate centers Bradley Hayes and Jessie Govan (a Queens native). If Chris Mullin's team can draw early fouls, they will neutralize an advantage for Georgetown and shoot more free throws.

Defend the Three: Last time out against Depaul, the Hoyas attempted 31 threes making 11. The Princeton offense focuses on perimeter play, so the Hoyas will continue this trend of shooting from the perimeter. If the Red Storm can hold defensively, they have a very good chance of winning this game.

Prediction: Georgetown 74 St. John's 61