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Resurgent Champagnie powers St. John’s past Georgetown, 90-77

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St. John’s gets a dominant game in the nation’s capital.

NCAA Basketball: Georgetown at St. John Wendell Cruz-USA TODAY Sports

St. John’s jumped out to an early lead, and got a star performance from Julian Champagnie on their way to a blowout 90-77 win over Georgetown.

Five Johnnies scored in double figures. St. John’s improves to 12-9 on the season, 4-6 in the Big East. The Hoyas are 6-14 and winless — 0-9 — in the league.

Early in the game, the Red Storm managed to get four of five starters scoring in the first six minutes of the game, and one played off the bench. The only made jumper in the first six shots — from Julian Champagnie.

The Johnnies were getting to the rim against Georgetown’s fast paced offense and porous defense, so there was time for Champagnie to get comfortable. Aaron Wheeler’s activity got him a pair of scores at the rim, and the Red Storm earned an early nine-point lead.

But the Hoyas cut the lead to three before falling back down by nine as Champagnie started getting loose, hitting a three, a jumper, and being physical on offense. Both the Hoyas and the Johnnies played fast.

But the Hoyas struggled with execution, missing numerous open shots at the rim. They worked their offense off the dribble, and couldn’t get either free throws or attempts from beyond the arc. Despite the low number of turnovers, they were making mistakes.

A late 9-2 run from St. John’s took advantage of their mistakes and pushed the lead to seven at the half.

St. John’s did not take their feet off the gas, with a hot start to begin the second half, featuring a lot of Joel Soriano. They led by as many as 26. The team got comfortable (or the Hoya defense got softer?) in the half, and Champagnie was able to burnish his scoring stats. He scored 27 points with six rebounds and four assists. Champagnie shot 6/12 from beyond the arc and 3/8 inside the arc.

Dylan Addae-Wusu also scored in double figures (11), with three assists. Wheeler, who scored nine in the first half to set the pace early, finished with 13 points. Posh Alexander hd 10 points, six assists, seven rebounds (including an offensive putback) and four steals.

Joel Soriano even hit a long jumper and handled a bit on a possession on his way to 14 points and nine rebounds, along with four second-half blocked shots.

Let’s be clear. Even though the result was very good, Georgetown is a team that has been played inconsistent to bad ball. Two of their main freshmen, Ryan Mutumbo and Aminu Mohammed struggled at the rim.

The Hoyas still ripped off a 16-4 run to get the deficit to within 11, a sign that the Red Storm are still a work in progress, here in the last month of the regular season. St. John’s was leaving runs to the rim open, and allowed some long threes in the second half, as well. The players not named Champagnie shot 3/12 from deep. Backup guard Stef Smith managed to post a -11 box score plus/ minus, though that might be incidental — he was on the floor for a nine-point run from the Hoyas’s shooter, Kaiden Rice.

But the St. John’s effort, and a late stabilizing surge, was enough to win running away.

Former Siena player and Hoya captain led Donald Carey Georgetown with 23, while shooter Kaiden Rice added 20.

After this season sweep of Georgetown, next for St. John’s is their first look at Butler at Hinkle Fieldhouse at midday on Saturday, a game that should be a test of which team can establish their desired pace.