New York, NY – The Georgetown Hoyas entered Madison Square Garden with a chip on their shoulders as they looked to avenge the loss from their last meeting with St. John’s. The two teams fought neck-and-neck for the entire first half as neither was able to establish a sizable lead. In the second half the Hoyas were able to gain and keep a multi-possession lead all the way to the end for an 89-78 win. The key difference maker in this game came from behind the three-point arc as Georgetown connected on 13 threes to St. Johns’ seven. This advantage from deep enabled the Hoyas to overcome their recklessness with the ball as they committed 19 turnovers.
Mac McClung impressed with one of his best games on the season with 25 points on 9-of-19 shooting (4-of-10 from three) to go with five rebounds and five assists. The freshman guard has proven to be one of the more competitive players on the court as he plays every possession with a ferocious energy on both ends. His three-point shooting ability has started to blossom in recent weeks as he has shot 16-of-38 (42%) from deep over his past five games. He’s also durable and strong for a freshman as he can play inside the lane and embrace physicality when attacking the rim or going after a rebound. With time his decision-making and leadership skills will continue to grow as he becomes an elite college basketball guard.
Senior big man Jessie Govan was his normal self for the Hoyas as he generated 20 points on 7-of-14 shooting (2-of-3 from three). As the anchor on both ends for Georgetown, Govan is a consistent provider of scoring, rebounding and shot blocking as he stands 6’10’’ on a sturdy 255-pound frame. The seasoned big man won’t win many foot races in transition or leaping contests, but he takes advantage of every inch of his height and strength to give his team a reliable force at the center position.
For St. John’s, Shamorie Ponds continued as their usual offensive leader with 21 points and several nifty passes to set his teammates up for open looks. Ponds remains an elite Big East talent with a very tight handle that looks dazzling at times as he maneuvers around defenders in tight spaces and whips lazer-sharp passes to shooters. His teammates LJ Figueroa and Mustapha Heron bring the fierce energy and toughness that they need to force turnovers. Figueroa’s hustle on defense merited four steals to go with his 14 points on offense as he continues to show flashes of being a top player on the court.
All in all, Georgetown and St. John’s showed that they can compete hard for 40 minutes in a tough Big East match-up. They each have a win over the other now but neither win was decisive. Both teams should have plenty of motivation to prove their superiority should they meet again.