St. John’s aims to keep Georgetown winless in Big East

Once a marquee Big East matchup, St. John’s and Georgetown will meet Thursday at an intimate on-campus setting.

Perhaps the venue is fitting, with the way both teams are struggling as they prepare to face off Thursday night inside Georgetown’s on-campus arena at Washington, D.C.

St. John’s (11-9, 3-6) twice rallied from sizable second-half deficits, first of 10 points and then of eight, only to fall to Providence 86-82 at home Tuesday. Similarly, Georgetown (6-13, 0-8 Big East) was denied its first Big East victory Tuesday when Seton Hall squandered an 11-point second-half advantage but then rallied from a five-point deficit.

“We’ve done things to come back and take the lead,” Georgetown coach Patrick Ewing said, “and then, with five or six minutes to go, it falls apart.

“If you look at all our games, we are right there. We are right in them. But then the mistakes that we make (hurt us).”

In the Hoyas’ 88-69 loss to the Red Storm on Jan. 16, Georgetown rallied from a 20-point deficit and cut St. John’s lead to 72-64 with just under eight minutes to go. But they managed only five points the rest of the game and fell 88-69.

The Hoyas, who have lost nine straight, had trouble navigating St. John’s press in the previous meeting, committing 21 turnovers. Donald Carey (13.1 points per game, 3.3 assists) missed that game due to an illness, and it should help having him back in the lineup. He had 15 points against Seton Hall on Tuesday.

The Red Storm fell to No. 15 Providence despite career-highs in both points (29) and assists (12) by sophomore Posh Alexander.

“I thought this team would be a little further along,” St. John’s coach Mike Anderson admitted after the loss.

Hard to overcome for St. John’s has been the recent lack of production by star Julian Champagnie, who averages 18.3 points but has been limited to single digits in each of the last four games. He had 25 against the Hoyas last month.

As for the quick turnaround to playing Georgetown two days after losing to Providence, St. John’s forward Aaron Wheeler said, “The guys are going to be eager (to) get out there to make up for this loss.”

–Field Level Media


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