After forcing overtime with a buzzer-beating layup from Greg Williams Jr., the St. John’s Men’s Basketball team saw Georgetown use an 8-1 run in the extra period to defeat the Red Storm, 97-94, at McDonough Arena on Sunday.
The Red Storm (5-3, 0-2 BIG EAST) led by seven with less than three minutes to go in regulation and led by four just over a minute into the overtime frame. The Hoyas (3-3, 1-1 BIG EAST) answered with 8-1 runs on both occasions.
Isaih Moore led the way for St. John’s by shattering a pair of career-highs. The former junior college All-American recorded 26 points on 10-of-18 shooting to go along with 14 rebounds. He also blocked a pair of shots in 32 minutes of action. Prior to Sunday, Moore had never scored more than 13 points or grabbed more than nine rebounds in a Division I game. The Columbia, S.C., native became the first St. John’s player to record 14 boards in a game since Tariq Owens did so on Dec. 31, 2017, at Seton Hall.
Moore was one of two Johnnies to finish with a double-double on Sunday, as Julian Champagnie tallied 13 points and 12 boards for his third double-double in just six appearances this season.
In total, five St. John’s players reached double figures for the first time this season and just the second time in the last two years. Posh Alexander registered 16 points on 6-of-12 shooting to go along with six assists and two steals, while Williams scored 13 and Marcellus Earlington added 10 in just 13 minutes of action. Alexander recorded four of his assists in the final four minutes of the second half, including one on the Williams buzzer beater to send the game into overtime.
As a team, St. John’s won the battle of the boards, 45-34, including a 20-6 margin on the offensive glass. The Hoyas proved much more efficient at converting those chances, however, as St. John’s recorded 19 second-chance points while Georgetown managed 14.
On the evening, the Hoyas shot 53.9 percent from the floor (34-of-63) and converted on 11 of their 23 attempts from beyond the arc (47.8%). St. John’s turned in a 43.4 field goal percentage and sank only four of its 13 long-range tries.
Sophomore center Qudus Wahab narrowly missed a triple-double for the Hoyas, finishing with 17 points, 10 rebounds and nine blocks. Jalen Harris, a graduate transfer who played for Mike Anderson at Arkansas, scored a team-high 22 points while Jahvon Blair added 20 points and five assists.
Moore kicked off the scoring with a long jumper on the game’s first possession, but Georgetown responded with a 12-3 run to take an early seven-point lead. St. John’s answered with six straight to make it a one-point contest before eventually knotting the score at 18 on an Earlington layup with 13 minutes to play in the half.
St. John’s took its first lead on a Dylan Addae-Wusu triple two minutes later and moved ahead by as many as four, 25-21, on a put-back layup from Arnaldo Toro near the midway mark of the period.
Trailing by three, 31-28, following a pair of Alexander free throws with 6:37 to go, Georgetown rattled off nine straight points to take a six-point advantage. St. John’s responded with five of their own to quickly cut the deficit back to one before entering the locker room down two, 42-40, after 20 minutes of action.
Down by as many as nine after an 11-2 St. John’s run in the opening five minutes of the second half, Georgetown tied the game 60 with a 7-0 run that spanned just 29 seconds.
The teams traded leads over the next several minutes before a 16-5 St. John’s run put the Johnnies ahead by seven, 82-75, with 2:37 to play. Moore and Williams scored six points apiece on the St. John’s tear.
Georgetown scored eight of the game’s next nine points to tie it up at 83 with 1:45 to go. The teams traded buckets over the remainder of regulation. Donald Carey, who finished with 19 points, put the Hoyas ahead by a pair with six seconds to play before the Red Storm tied it at 88 with Williams’ last second layup.
St. John’s scored the first four points of overtime, but went without a field goal the rest of the way.
The Red Storm will return to action on Thursday when its hosts No. 8/7 Creighton at Carnesecca Arena. Tip-off is scheduled for 5 p.m. on FS1 and 970 AM WNYM. The Hoyas will then make the return trip to Queens on Sunday at 6:30 p.m.
St. John’s Head Coach Mike Anderson
“I told our guys that I will take the blame for that one there. I didn’t get the job done. The guys played their hearts out, the tempo of the game was the way that we wanted it to go, and we had a lot of miscues going down the stretch. I think heading into halftime we may have had five turnovers, and you could see it came back to bite us in the second half where we had some turnovers that led to easy points for them. As a matter of fact, they scored off of our turnovers. Greg [Williams Jr.] had a great move to get the game into overtime, and we know the game isn’t over until it’s over. Georgetown did what they were supposed to do, they protected their home court, but I can’t say enough about the effort of our guys, they left it all out on the court. Georgetown had some unsung heroes, guys that hadn’t played much, but they played well for them and it was a good job on their part.”
On why he blames this loss on himself…
“I just didn’t put them in the right position at the right time. When the game was in the waning moments, I thought that we could have executed better, it was something that we practiced, but again it is a team loss, a tough loss, because we were in position to win this game. This team is evolving. I thought that they played with more energy than they did at Seton Hall. I thought that we got our forwards involved, but at the end of the day it was free throws, our turnovers, and defensive assignments.”
On the defense…
“I think we are learning, you know, defense isn’t over until you get the rebound. It was like right before [Donald Carey] scored at the end of regulation, I mean the guy fell and we went to get the ball and all of a sudden, they get a basket where our guys are scrambling and getting on the floor. I think our guys just have to take a little more pride in it, that is what has to take place. We outrebounded them and did the things we need to do, but our defense is not where we need it to be right now”
On the play of Qudus Wahab…
“He did what he does. He manned the post down there and tried to make it difficult for our guys to score at the basket.”
On how to keep the loss from defining them…
“It won’t define us. I think we were better in a lot of areas than we were last game. This team will evolve. They’re going to have a hard day, they’re going to continue to work. You can see, we’ve got a lot of pieces. I thought our bench came in and played well for us at times. We’ve just got to learn how to finish, that’s all. It’s not defining time, it’s not panic time, it’s two games into the league play and just take both of them on the road.”
On what number option Greg Williams was in the play that sent the game into overtime…
“We actually were trying to get Greg [Williams Jr.] in there and we made a mad dash for him, but we knew they were going to keen in on Julian [Champagnie] so we got what we wanted. Yeah, by the time the play evolved, he just made himself available. Players make plays. We had him getting to the basket, then he maneuvered and Posh [Alexander] did a good job of getting it to him. You had action away from it, but then you had him coming to the basket.”
On if Vince Cole’s three-point shot in overtime was the shot he was looking for…
“We actually had an attack before that. Of course, Vince [Cole] saw a little light and thought he had a chance to knock it down. We were trying to get action at the basket. I mean at that time you want to get action at the basket. They clogged the defense in there and I think Posh [Alexander] kicked it back out to Vince [Cole].”
Junior Guard Greg Williams Jr.
On if the loss stings more because they were in a position to win…
“It definitely hurt. That is a big stain on us, so the only thing that we can do is bounce back and move forward while we learn from our mistakes.”
For more information on the St. John’s Men’s Basketball team fans are encouraged to click on the link seen here: