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St. John’s loses big lead, fall to Georgetown 73-72

The Red Storm offense goes cold, turnovers bedevil the squad

Wendell Cruz - Finish First Photos

St. John’s collapsed in the second half, falling 73-72 to the Hoyas. The Red Storm were rolling into the second half, but collapsed in the second half as Georgetown fought back from a stretch of poor poise and lackluster shooting.

The Johnnies led by as many as 17 points.

The loss makes that three losses at home; the Red Storm are 2-8 in league play, 13-10 overall.

Change was in the air from the get go, as St. John’s shook up the starting lineup. Sitting were seniors Mustapha Heron and Nick Rutherford, replaced by Greg Williams Jr. and Julian Champagnie.

St. John’s took advantage of a slow start from a Georgetown missing one of their scoring stars, St. John’s committed their zero turnovers in the first half, and a 16-2 run had the Johnnies ahead by as many as 12. They held Hoya big man to three points in the half, forcing him away from the rim. Jahvon Blair carried the Hoyas with 11.

But St. John’s offense has been the least productive in the league, prone to droughts and poor offensive stretches. So despite Rasheem Dunn’s last second first half runner, and despite leading by as many as 17 after a technical foul on Georgetown’s Jamorko Pickett and an offensive spurt, the Johnnies found themselves tied after an Omer Yurtseven spin and dunk in the paint.


St. John’s had committed nine turnovers by the time Yurtseven tied the game at 64 with 6:44 left. The Hoyas’ full court pressure defense caused ballhandling struggles from Rasheem Dunn and LJ Figueroa, who committed five of the turnovers in that stretch.

In a 34-14 stretch, the Hoyas had runs of 10-2, 11-2 and 8-2 to bring the game to even.

St. John’s could not find consistent offense, searching deep into the 30-second shot clock for a clear path to the basket. The Hoya zone contributed, but the team, as a whole, looked as if they lacked confidence in their scoring ability.

The Red Storm held off the Hoyas for much of the last six minutes, but the inability to create offense — resulting in multiple shot clock violations — kept the Hoyas close on the Storm’s heels.

LJ Figueroa saved a possession with an off-balance runner from the left wing. But after another violation, the Hoyas took the ball out against pressure. They broke the press and Omer Yurtseven laid in another shot at the rim, his 10th point of the second half, to take the lead.

The Johnnies called a time out, down 73-72. Rasheem Dunn brought the ball up, but slipped under pressure, dribbled off of his foot, losing the ball.

And so, the Johnnies fell 73-72.

All five Hoya starters played 35 minutes or more, but looked more active against the Johnnies.

The Red Storm have the game at Creighton on Saturday, followed by two games at home against Xavier and Providence coming.