Say this about games between St. John’s and Georgetown: They’re always entertaining. In Sunday night’s rekindling of the rivalry, there were 15 lead changes and 12 ties, plus an overtime period.
And in the end, the Hoyas’ 97-94 win really stung the Red Storm.
St. John’s led by seven with 2:37 left in regulation but needed Greg Williams Jr.’s reverse layup at the regulation buzzer to tie it. The Red Storm missed their final five shots in overtime as a four-point lead dried up and Georgetown eked out the Big East win at McDonough Gym in Washington, D.C.
A driving layup by Williams gave the Red Storm (5-2, 0-2) a 92-88 lead with four minutes left in OT, but it was their last field goal. The Hoyas (3-3, 1-1) came back with six unanswered points to snatch the lead away.
In the final 30 seconds, St. John’s Vince Cole missed a three-pointer. Then, after Williams intentionally missed the second of two free throws with 5.9 seconds left and Georgetown up 96-94, the Red Storm’s Isaih Moore got the offensive rebound.
But his putback attempt was blocked by 6-11 Qudus Wahab — his ninth blocked shot — and St. John’s had to foul.
"It definitely hurt — definitely," Williams said. "That’s a big stain on us and all we can do is move forward."
"This won’t define us," coach Mike Anderson said. "We were better in a lot of areas than we were in the last game [Friday’s loss at Seton Hall]. This team will evolve . . . We just have to learn how to finish."
Despite having that late shot blocked, Moore had an exceptional game with 26 points, including five impressive dunks, and 14 rebounds. Posh Alexander added 16 points and six assists. Julian Champagnie had 13 points and 12 rebounds, Williams had 13 points and six assists, and Marcellus Earlington had 10 points.
Dante Harris scored 22 points, Jahvon Blair had 20 points and six assists, and Wahab had 17 points and 10 rebounds for the Hoyas. Georgetown shot 54% from the floor and was 11-for-23 on three-pointers.
With a 15-4 run early in the second half, St. John’s grabbed its biggest lead at 55-46 on a break-finishing dunk by Moore off an Alexander feed. The Red Storm was down 70-66 after two free throws by Harris with 7:23 left in regulation.
Williams’ drive and reverse layup with 2:37 left put the Red Storm up 82-75, and again they couldn’t hold it. He had to score on an inbounds play that started with nine-tenths of a second left to tie it at 88 at the end of regulation.
Of the lack of defensive execution with the lead, Anderson said, "We’ve just got to take a little more pride and that’s what’s got to take place. We did everything we need to do, but the defense isn’t where we want it right now."