St. John’s got a glimpse of rock bottom on Sunday afternoon. AJ Storr made certain that vision did not become reality.
St. John’s arrived at its Big East meeting with Georgetown coming off a pair of mild catastrophes — a season-worst offensive performance and late collapse at home to Villanova and a season-worst defensive performance in which it allowed 104 points in a blowout loss at Creighton.
And after surging back from nine points down for a brief lead, the Red Storm were looking at a one-point deficit and a potential loss to the last-place Hoyas on Sunday when they inbounded the ball with 18.8 seconds to play.
Andre Curbelo drove from the right side and whistled a pass through the collapsing Georgetown defense to a wide-open Storr just to the left of the top of the three-point arc.
The 6-6 freshman hit a three-pointer with 4.3 seconds left to give St. John’s a 75-73 victory before a rollicking crowd of 11,455 at the Garden.
Georgetown’s Bryson Mozone got an open look at the basket for a three-pointer to win it, but he missed the mark.
His Red Storm teammates exploded with excitement when his shot went through, but Storr wore a cool and confident expression.
“It’s not my first game-winning shot,” he said. “It’s on the college level, but it’s still the same shot.”
“A lot of guys are like that, especially the shooters — they have no [doubts],” St. John’s coach Mike Anderson said. “He has no conscience. He’s cool and smooth.”
David Jones had 17 points, including eight of the Red Storm’s 11 points in the final 3:44. His streak of eight straight Red Storm points finished with a pair of free throws for a 72-70 lead with 46.2 seconds to play. Mozone made a three-pointer from the wing with 24 seconds left to put the Hoyas up 73-72 before Storr’s winner.
Dylan Addae-Wusu had 15 points, including four three-pointers, for St. John’s (14-8, 4-7). Joel Soriano had 12 points and 15 rebounds — his 18th double-double — and Storr had 12 points.
Posh Alexander and Rafael Pinzon did not play because of ankle injuries.
Primo Spears scored 25 points and Brandon Murray 17 for Georgetown (6-16, 1-10).
Hoyas sophomore Jordan Riley, Newsday’s 2021 Player of the Year from Brentwood, made his sixth straight start and scored four points.
Storr has emerged as a key player during the last three weeks. In the Red Storm’s first five Big East games, he averaged 5.8 points in 13.5 minutes off the bench. He cracked the starting lineup Jan. 7 against Providence and has since averaged 11.8 points in 25.3 minutes per game.
He said his approach while coming off the bench was “staying consistent — just being in the gym and sticking to what I do” and added, “I knew things were going to go well eventually, so I stayed positive.”
“He’s a big impact for us, man,” Soriano said. “He stays working hard in the gym, first one to go and last one to leave . . . He’s a big key to what we do. I’m proud of him.”