Size matters in the Big East, and it showed again Sunday afternoon at Madison Square Garden when much taller Georgetown was able to hold St.John's to 31.5 percent shooting and pull away for a 69-49 victory. The Hoyas outrebounded the Red Storm, 42-34, blocked six shots and held leading Red Storm scorer D'Angelo Harrison to five points on 1-for-12 shooting.
At one point late in the first half, the Hoyas had four 6-8 players on the court plus 6-2 guard Jason Clark. Harrison wasn't hitting from three-point range against a Georgetown zone defense that was able to extend because of the Hoyas' height, and driving to the hoop was tough for Harrison, who threw up a couple of prayers.
Harrison admitted part of the problem was that a couple of his shots got blocked, but he felt the Red Storm could have done a better job of attacking Georgetown's zone defense. "Moe is just as tall as them, and we did a good job of finding him in the middle," Harrison said of 6-8 teammate Moe Harkless, who had 21 points on 9-of-16 shooting. "We just have to do a better job of attacking the middle when their big guys are spread out."
After a 1-for-8 first half, Harrison (picture holding his head) toned it down in the second half, taking only four more shots. But that might have been as much a sign of his frustration as the sour faces he sometimes displayed as a player who wears his heart on his sleeve.
"I tried to stay with it," Harrison said. "My teammates were doing a good job of keeping me in the game. Malik Stith was talking to me."
Without much production from Harrison in support of Harkless, the Red Storm offense suffers. Sir'Dominic Pointer, who added 12 points, did a good job of getting to the rim and drawing fouls, but 6-8 God'sgift Achiuwa was another who struggled against taller defenders, scoring only four points on 2-of-8 shooting. Assistant coach Mike Dunlap said he's working with Achiuwa to develop a hook in the lane to counter taller players, but it's a work in progress.
Georgetown freshman Otto Porter, who had an effective game with 13 points, 10 rebounds, 2 steals and one blocked shot, noticed the difference the Hoyas' size made. "When we have a lot of big guys out there, they take up space," Porter said. "We have long arms, and it makes it hard for them to even see the floor."