St. John’s was effective in the first 16 minutes and the final 4 minutes, and that was enough to overcome the poor play in-between to beat Georgetown 75-73.
Posh Alexander was out again with a lingering ankle injury. Rafael Pinzon was listed as available despite also suffering an ankle injury, but did not play.
Most of the first half felt like the Red Storm were a couple buckets away from opening the game up. Dylan Addae-Wusu and Kolby King, particularly, looked primed to have strong performances in a game where a win seemed like a foregone conclusion.
However, with just over 4 minutes to go, AJ Storr dunked a ball on a fastbreak to give St. John’s a 35-25 lead. Then the Johnnies stopped scoring and stopped defending. In those final four minutes of the half, the Hoyas closed out on a 14-0 run. The Red Storm only attempted 3 field goals in the final 4 minutes of the half.
Part of the reason the Johnnies attempted so few shots was due to the turnovers. AJ Storr and David Jones were particularly careless with the ball as each had 3 turnovers apiece.
Additionally, the ball-movement was more crisp in the previous 16 minutes. Of the Red Storm’s 15 made field goals, 12 of them were assisted.
To Georgetown’s credit, they defended Joel Soriano well in the first half. All of Soriano’s catches in the post were contested, and Soriano was regularly pushed out of the low post into the midrange. The big man finished the half with only 2 points (1-5 FG) and 7 rebounds.
At the half, St. John’s trailed Georgetown, 39-35.
After the half, the Red Storm took a long time to retake the lead from the Hoyas. Soriano’s game came back to life somewhat, but offensively he got little support from his teammates. The streaky AJ Storr missed his first 5 shots of the half.
The Red Storm’s comeback was slow due to their softness at the rim throughout the whole contest. To their credit, they got to the rim 39 times. However, they needed to make more than 19 of those shots. The refs let them play in the paint, so there certainly could’ve been more fouls called. The Johnnies instead relied on trying to spin and flip the ball in rather finishing strong.
With under 4 minutes to go in the contest, the struggling David Jones put the team on his back by scoring 8 straight points and brought the Johnnies within 2. With 4 seconds left in the contest, Andre Curbelo kicks the ball out to AJ Storr who knocked down a three to give St. John’s its first lead since the George 14-0 run to close out the first half.
Georgetown took 3 seconds to get the ball across half court when Curbelo knocked the ball out of bounds. Bryson Mozone attempted a shot from deep for the Hoyas that didn’t connect, and the Red Storm come back to win, 75-73.
Next, St. John’s takes on Seton Hall at Carnesecca Arena on Wednesday.
St. John’s Red Storm
David Jones: 17 points (7-11 FG, 1-3 3PT), 7 rebounds, 2 assists
Dylan Addae-Wusu: 15 points (5-13 FG, 4-6 3PT), 3 rebounds, 4 assists
Joel Soriano: 12 points (3-14 FG), 15 rebounds, 3 assists
Primo Spears: 25 points (10-19 FG, 4-6 3PT), 1 rebound, 2 assists
Brandon Murray: 17 points (7-19 FG, 1-5 3PT), 4 rebounds, 2 assists