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St. John’s vs. Georgetown: how to watch, preview

Is this the day the Red Storm earn their first Big East win?

Wendell Cruz

Once again, the old rivals meet, and while St. John’s is clearly at the bottom and Georgetown is in 8th place, the two teams have both suffered two straight losses to the top half of the league.

Both teams hope to get on track against a foe that they have seen before, one they think they understand. The previous game at Madison Square Garden was close, and could have gone to either team.

Just like last time, nostalgia will filter in. But Patrick Ewing and Chris Mullin won’t be on the floor; they will both be sitting on the scorer's table, observing their kids and cringing when they mess up fundamental plays. This is an important game for both teams and their development as rebuilding programs.

For Georgetown, this is a game to start setting right what had gone so horribly wrong in the past two games.

For St. John’s, this is the chance to break a seven-game winless skid and start putting good individual performances together into a threatening whole.

Game Details

Who: St. John’s Red Storm (10-9 I 0-7 Big East) versus Georgetown Hoyas (12-6 I 2-5 Big East)

Where: Capital One Arena, Washington, DC

When: Saturday, January 19th, 12:00 PM ET

TV: FS1 | online

Audio: 570 AM WMCA; TuneIn Radio

Last Meeting: St. John’s lost to Georgetown in the Garden by the score of 69-66, a somnolent game with an exciting four-minute back-end.

Since we last saw Georgetown...

Last two games: L L

St. John’s has lost by an average of 6.5 points in their last two games. The Hoyas have lost by an average of 22.5 points in their last two contests.

For the Hoyas, sluggish first halves have been the culprit. Seton Hall took advantage of mistakes in the middle of the first half to knock out the Hoyas early. And next, Villanova led by as many as [takes off glasses, rubs, puts glasses back on] 44 points, stunned the student section into silence, was the worst loss in 40 years, and got attention from Deadspin.

Those bruised dogs will be looking for a bounceback against the Johnnies.

Jagan Mosely and Jonathan Mulmore, in particular, will look to recapture better form that they enjoyed against the Johnnies. Mosely, in particular, played well against St. John’s that evening - scoring 13 points (3rd best output this season) and being a credible defender on Shamorie Ponds.

Jessie Govan and Marcus Derrickson, who were both real problems for the Red Storm in the meeting at the Garden, have continued to maintain a solid level of play. Govan’s shooting percentages inside the arc have fallen, but Chris Mullin’s team provides less of a deterrent for Govan, physically.

For St. John’s, the points of interest continue to be dealing with Georgetown’s size, taking advantage of their guards and putting together a full game for 40 minutes.

Keys to the Game

Pressure on the ball. St. John’s successfully forced turnovers on a high percentage of Hoya possessions. They will need to up the intensity against guards who are more prepared for traps and pressure.

Find a way to rebound defensively. The Hoyas were able to take in 44% of their misses, getting a few more chances for the likes of Govan at the rim and reducing chances for St. John’s to score. If the Red Storm can tilt the number of shots in their favor by limiting offensive rebounds from Govan and Derrickson, that will go a long way to securing a win.

Make shooters uncomfortable. A defining problem for this season’s Red Storm is how opposing three-point shooters find space not just often - but comfortably.

Whether it is the recognition of when to turn and close out, whether it is over-helping, or something else - the Red Storm defenders need to recover and give at least some cursory defense on three-point shooters to disrupt their rhythm.

Prediction

St. John’s gets their first win in Big East play, 74-71.