St. John’s had a few opportunities to blow this one wide open but let Georgetown back into the game a couple times before finishing the Hoyas off, 79-70.
Andre Curbelo was back in action tonight for the first time since the Butler game on February 7. Rafael Pinzon remains suspended.
The Red Storm started strong. The team regularly got to the bucket with ease and scored 26 points at the rim on 18 shots. Joel Soriano and AJ Storr had the most success at the bucket. Soriano Storr combined for 14 points at the rim with Soriano finishing the half with 10 points (5-6 FG) and 5 rebounds and Storr adding 10 points (5-9 FG, 0-1 3PT) and 1 rebound.
The strong early performance by the Johnnies helped them amass a 15-point lead with just over 4 minutes the play. The game seemed well on its way to becoming a blowout. Then the Red Storm started settling for jump shots which made up 3 of the last 5 shots taken in the half. That’s when St. John’s even got a shot off, as they had 2 shotclock violations in the final 2 minutes.
During the rough final 4 minutes, Georgetown converted 3 layups and knocked down a shot from deep to cut the St. John’s lead to 8 points going into the half.
Going into halftime, St. John’s led Georgetown 40-32.
The Red Storm’s slow finish to the first half bled into the start of the second half. Georgetown kept getting to the rim and cut St. John’s once large lead to a measly two possessions.
The Johnnies pivoted to a team press rather than leaving Posh Alexander in the backcourt to fend for himself, and Georgetown struggled to deal with it. In a 4 minute stretch before the under-12 minute media timeout, the Hoyas turned the ball over 4 times helping St. John’s briefly regain a double-digit lead.
An 8-2 run by Georgetown, powered by Jay Heath and Brandon Murray, resulted in the game being tied back up with just under 8 minutes to play.
The game stayed as St. John’s leading by 1 possession for the next 6 minutes or so before the Johnnies started pulling away.
In the last minute, Alexander and Curbelo helped the Johnnies pull away and secure the win. Posh had 5 of the last 7 points in the game with Curbelo getting to the free throw line for the other 2.
The strong finish powered St. John’s to a 79-70 win.
Next, the Red Storm play their final home game at Madison Square Garden when they take on UConn at noon on Saturday.
St. John’s Red Storm
Joel Soriano: 16 points (7-9 FG), 8 rebounds, 2 assists
AJ Storr: 15 points (6-14 FG, 1-4 3PT), 1 rebound
David Jones: 14 points (7-13 FG, 0-2 3PT), 12 rebounds, 1 assist
Brandon Murray: 25 points (10-17 FG, 3-6 3PT), 5 rebounds, 2 assists
Jay Heath: 16 points (6-10 FG, 4-6 3PT), 3 rebounds, 7 assists