St. John’s got out to a sluggish start, settling for contested three-pointers and minimal paint touches.
Georgetown got out to an early 10-2 lead in the first four minutes of the contest.
Lead by Jessie Govan and Marcus Derrickson, who combined were 6-8 from three-point range in the first half, Georgetown was able to dominate from the perimeter.
Govan went into halftime with 20 points (6-12 FG, 2-3 3PT), 5 rebounds, and an assist. Derrickson contributed his own 12 points (4-5 FG, 4-5 3PT), 2 rebounds and 2 assists.
Twenty-seven of Georgetown’s 48 first half points came from deep, where the Hoyas shot 60% from beyond the arc.
Despite Georgetown’s first-half offensive barrage, St. John’s found a way to battle back to go into the half trailing only 48-42.
The Red Storm kept the score close going into the half by scoring points in the paint. St. John’s outscored Georgetown 18-10 on points in the paint in the first half.
After missing the last two games with an abdominal injury, Shamorie Ponds put on a strong performance in the first half, finishing with 13 points off of 6-9 shooting from the floor.
Justin Simon, after committing two fouls in the first two minutes, missed 11 minutes, but bounced back with a quality showing. Simon finished the half with 6 points off of 2-2 shooting from the floor.
St. John’s came out in the second half looking to continue their offensive success in the paint and to limit the quality of looks Georgetown got from the perimeter.
Successfully, St. John’s dominated the paint, and Georgetown came back to earth from the perimeter after a hot first half.
Ponds and Simon added to their quality first halves, while Marvin Clark II and Tariq Owens contributed quality halves of their own.
After a quiet first half, Owens came out finishing at the rim and hitting open shots while disrupting several of Georgetown’s shots in the paint.
When Owens went out with just over eight minutes remaining due to foul issues, Clark picked it up offensively getting his own shots at the rim and knocking down perimeter looks.
The early portion of the second half consisted of St. John’s tying the game back up at 52 at the 16 minute mark, followed by five lead changes before the Red Storm took control of the game.
With just under 11 minutes left in the game, Owens hit a jumper to give St. John’s a 61-59 lead, and the Red Storm never looked back.
Whenever the Hoyas looked to make a run, the Red Storm squashed it with a rebuttal of their own.
When Dickerson hit a three to bring the game to 67-72, Ponds responded with a layup.
When Govan cut the lead to 74-69 with just over eight minutes remaining, Ponds responded with a jumper.
Collectively, a major difference in the game was St. John’s outscoring Georgetown 40-18 in the paint. Pairing their success in the paint with Georgetown shooting 3 of 17 from the perimeter in the second half, St. John’s continued to add to their lead and won the contest 88-77.
Next for St. John’s is the second round of the Big East Tournament at Madison Square Garden against the Xavier Musketeers on Thursday, March 8 at noon.
St. John’s Red Storm
Shamorie Ponds: 26 Points (9-14 FG, 0-3 3PT), 2 Rebounds, 3 Assists, 1 Turnover
Justin Simon: 16 Points (5-5 FG), 10 Rebounds, 6 Assists, 2 Turnovers
Marvin Clark II: 16 Points (6-14 FG, 2-4 3PT), 4 Rebounds, 1 Assist, 1 Turnover
Tariq Owens: 13 Points (6-9 FG, 0-2 3PT), 7 Rebounds, 2 Turnovers
Bashir Ahmed: 10 Points (3-8 FG, 2-4 3PT), 6 Rebounds, 3 Assists, 2 Turnover
Jessie Govan: 28 Points (9-21 FG, 2-4 3PT), 11 Rebounds, 2 Assists, 1 Turnover
Marcus Derrickson: 20 Points (6-12 FG, 6-11 3PT), 8 Rebounds, 2 Assists
Jagan Mosely: 9 Points (2-4 FG, 1-3 3PT), 3 Rebounds, 3 Assists, 3 Turnovers