The St. John’s University Red Storm (14-1) defeated the Georgetown Hoyas (11-4) 97-94 in an overtime thriller in men’s Big East Conference basketball action on Saturday, Jan. 5, at the Capital One Arena in Washington D.C. The announced crowd was 11,115.
St. John’s, which is enjoying its fastest start since 1985-6, had not defeated the Hoyas in the nation’s capital since Jan. 18, 2003, a string of 13 straight defeats.
The Hoyas moved to an 11-point lead in the first half and had a four-point advantage with only 28 seconds to go in regulation time when the Johnnies’ premiere guard, Shamorie Ponds, sank a pair of free throws. In the game’s key moment, the Hoyas succombed to a full court press as LJ Figueroa of St. John’s came up with a steal, was fouled, and sank two free throws to knot the game at 85. Georgetown failed on its final possession to force an overtime.
The Johnnies carried the momentum into overtime, taking a quick eight-point lead. Figueroa and Justin Simon kicked things off dramatically with alley-oops to one another on consecutive offensive possessions. But the Hoyas fought back. A four-point play by Jessie Govan from the corner and a pair of missed St. John’s three throws gave the Hoyas a final chance to tie, down three with 22 seconds remaining, but a shot by James Akinjo followed by a last second three-pointer off a rebound by Jahvon Blair both missed the mark.
Shamorie Ponds of St. John’s led all scorers with 37 points. Jessie Govan led Georgetown scoring with 25 points to go with his 11 rebounds, and Josh LeBlanc put together another double-double of 12 points and 12 rebounds.
For the third consecutive game, the Hoyas played without starters Mac McClung (sprained left ankle) and Trey Mourning (concussion protocol). Both players are listed as day-to-day.
“We just have to find a way to close out the game,” said Coach Patrick Ewing to reporters after the game.
The loss brings the Hoyas’ Big East record to an even one win and one loss. They next face conference opponent Xavier in an away game on Wednesday, Jan. 9. Their next home game will be a noontime start on Saturday, Jan. 12, vs. Providence.
View Jeff Malet’s photos from courtside by clicking on the photo icons below.