Georgetown, St. John’s vie for first conference win

NCAA

After stumbling in their respective Big East openers, Georgetown and St. John’s look to regain their footing at the other’s expense on Sunday in Washington, D.C.

The Hoyas (2-3, 0-1) put a scare into No. 9 Villanova before dropping a 76-63 decision at home on Friday while the Red Storm (5-2, 0-1) were unable to solve Sandro Mamukelashvili and Seton Hall.

Sunday’s matchup comes to pass after Georgetown’s initial opponent, UConn, paused practices and games due to a positive COVID-19 test.

Jamorko Pickett of the Hoyas recorded his second straight double-double on Friday after posting team-high totals in points (16) and rebounds (10) against the Wildcats.

Pickett had his way with St. John’s last season, recording 18 points, 11 rebounds and four blocks in an 87-66 win on Jan. 8. He added 13 points and 10 boards in Georgetown’s 75-62 loss to the Red Storm on March 11 in the first round of the Big East Tournament.

Jahvon Blair didn’t fare as well in both of last season’s meetings with St. John’s, and he sputtered by his standards on Friday. Blair, who averages a club-best 18.4 points this season, was limited to just 11 for a Georgetown team that was outscored 43-17 in the second half.

“I don’t think (Villanova) did much to change the pace of the game. I just thought that we took bad shots,” Hoyas coach Patrick Ewing said. “In the first half we had three turnovers, we had nine in the second half. We were doing a good job of getting the ball inside to (Qudus Wahab). He missed some easy shots in the second half that he was making in the first half. I think all of those things played a role, and then they got hot.”

St. John’s guard Julian Champagnie, who averages team-best totals in points (22.4) and rebounds (6.8) collected 24 and six, respectively, against the Pirates. He made 10 of 19 shots to reach the 20-point plateau for the third time this season and fifth in his last eight games dating back to last season.

Rasheem Dunn added 10 points in his first game since sustaining a concussion against Saint Peter’s in the season opener on Nov. 25.

Despite spirited contributions, the Red Storm were done in by Mamukelashvili’s career-high 32-point performance in a 77-68 setback to Seton Hall.

“First game of conference play, we always talk about a sense of urgency, and you could see it with Seton Hall (on Friday),” St. John’s coach Mike Anderson said, per the New York Post.

Anderson was dismayed that his team only had 10 visits to the free-throw line. The Red Storm had 22 and 18 shots, respectively, from the charity stripe in the previous two games.

–Field Level Media

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