Georgetown led just once in the second half, but it was on the only possession that mattered, as an Omer Yurtseven layup with 10 seconds remaining sealed a 73-72 win for the Hoyas at Madison Square Garden on Sunday.
The 73-72 advantage was the first for Georgetown (13-9, 3-6 BIG EAST) since leading 20-19 with nine minutes to play in the first half. The Red Storm (13-10, 2-8 BIG EAST), which led by as many as 17 early in the second half, committed a turnover on the game’s final possession.
After surrendering no turnovers in the opening 20 minutes of action, the Red Storm coughed up 12 possessions in the latter half. The Hoyas subsequently converted those 12 second-period miscues into 12 points.
The Hoyas shot 57.1 percent from the floor in the second half after the Johnnies limited Georgetown to just 28.6 percent shooting in the opening period.
Rasheem Dunn led the way for the Johnnies with 16 points. The junior from Brooklyn also tallied four boards and three assists.
Mustapha Heron also finished with 16 points, sinking four triples and going a perfect 4-for-4 from the free throw line.
Freshman Julian Champagnie recorded his second collegiate double-double, scoring 14 points on 6-of-10 shooting and grabbing 10 boards, four of which were on the offensive glass. The Bishop Loughlin product also added three steals.
LJ Figueroa also came away with three steals in addition to tallying nine points, six rebounds and four assists.
Georgetown started the contest by missing its first eight field goal tries, falling behind 7-2 following a Dunn and-one with four minutes gone in the game. The Hoyas responded with a 10-0 run, as the Red Storm missed seven straight chances of their own over the next four minutes.
Trailing 12-7 with 12:25 to go, the Red Storm outscored the Hoyas 10-2 over the next three minutes, taking a 17-14 lead following consecutive Heron triples.
Back-to-back Georgetown treys put the Hoyas on top, 20-17, with nine minutes to go before the Johnnies turned the tide. The Red Storm scored nine straight and 19 of the game’s next 23 points, jumping ahead 36-24 with 2:49 left until the break. Marcellus Earlington led the way with seven points on the tear while Georgetown went 2-for-10 from the floor and committed three turnovers during that span. Figueroa and Dunn each added five for the Johnnies during that spurt.
Georgetown then rattled off five straight to pull within seven, but a Dunn foul-line floater to beat the buzzer bumped the Johnnies’ halftime cushion to nine, 38-29.
The Red Storm jumped ahead by as many as 17 in the early going of the second half, as a Josh Roberts put-back slam capped a 6-0 spurt and put the Johnnies on top 50-33 with 16:04 to play.
The Hoyas quickly trimmed their deficit back to single digits, using a 10-2 run to move within nine, 52-43, less than two minutes later.
The Red Storm moved back ahead by as many as 13, 58-45, before the Hoyas kick started a 19-6 run that knotted the contest at 64, as the Johnnies ceded the lead for the first time since the nine minute mark of the half.
St. John’s scored the game’s next four points to jump ahead 68-64, but Jagan Mosely drilled a three to pull the Hoyas back within one. The two teams then traded buckets over the next few minutes, as a Yurtseven turnaround jumper moved the Hoyas back within one, 72-71, with 50 seconds to play. The Red Storm subsequently committed a shot clock violation on the ensuing possession, setting up the game-winning bucket for Yurtseven.
The Red Storm returns to action on Saturday, traveling to Omaha for a 6 p.m. tilt with the Creighton Bluejays. That contest will be broadcast on CBS Sports Network and 570 AM WMCA.
St. John’s Head Coach Mike Anderson
“That’s a tough one there. … I thought in the first half we played pretty good basketball and we had zero turnovers. … We ended up with 12 turnovers. … The weird thing about it is that we get after each other from a pressure standpoint each and every day. Just not making the right decisions at the right time.
“Give [Georgetown] credit, they made some plays down the stretch. We didn’t make those plays. … Even the last play, 10 seconds was a lot of time, you’ve got to make a play. It’s a tough, tough loss, but our guys have been resilient throughout the year and we just have to find a way to bounce back.
“[Omer Yurtseven] obviously made some plays for them going down the stretch. But I can’t say enough about our inability to take care of the basketball. … I’ll take the blame on that. I thought I had them ready but evidently, I didn’t. We kind of shook the lineup a little bit and I thought that was really good. I thought we were good defensively, but you’ve got to take care of the basketball. I thought we started to play on our heels once we were up.”
On the last possession…
“We had it all set. I thought [Rasheem Dunn] had an attack to the lane, and he had a handoff with LJ [Figueroa] coming across. LJ had just made a shot for us so we had him set up to take a shot. The key was to be in attack mode. I thought he was going downhill and just lost the ball.”
On pressing during the last possession…
“It wasn’t even designed to be a trap. That’s what I’m saying, just making the right decision. It was just to make them work so they just don’t come down and pound it in there, so I thought that was a bad decision on our part to go and trap.”
On the lineup size on the final possession…
“We were trying to get people down there with him, but he’s smart enough that even when we had people coming at [Omer Yurtseven], doubling up, he was kicking the ball out. … He’s a pretty good basketball player. If you watched the game, I thought we had him guessing where we were coming from and we did a good job. … He’s a good player.”
On Georgetown down the stretch…
“I thought their energy went up because they were scoring and I thought we played on our heels. That was the difference. … I just thought we played on our heels and sometimes that is playing not to lose. When you start playing not to lose that’s what takes place and I just thought we were not in attack mode.”
On if he should have pressed Georgetown earlier in the second half…
“We don’t want to be predictable. I thought the game went as scripted. We made them use players. I just thought in the second half we didn’t continue with the pressure that we were applying, and then we start turning the ball over and that negates a lot of things that you’re doing.”
On the changes in the starting lineup…
“First of all, I thought our guys came out and played with great energy. I thought our defense was connected. I thought offensively we had great ball movement. I thought even the guys that didn’t start came off the bench and gave us some quality minutes. Every now and then you have to shake it up and that’s the biggest key. … I thought they did the things that I needed them to do. Our biggest hurdle has been finishing. We’re in position. We got to finish. Some of that can be a lack of guys being in those situations. We’ve been in enough situations now that hopefully we’re gaining experience. All of our games have come down to the little things and not the things that take place at the end. Our inability to make the right decision continues to be what we call attack mode.”
St. John’s Guard Rasheem Dunn
On what happened on the last play…
“As you all know, [the game] doesn’t come down to one possession, but obviously I couldn’t step up and make the big play that my team needed me to do. Things happen and that was just one of the mistakes that I could’ve prevented.”
For more information on the St. John’s Men’s Basketball team fans are encouraged to click on the link seen here: