(19) Georgetown (10-3) at St. John's (9-6)
Saturday, January 12, 11 a.m. (et)
The Sports Network
By Phil Neuffer, Associate College Basketball Editor
FACTS & STATS: Site: Madison Square Garden (18,119) -- New York, New York.
Television: ESPN2. Home Record: Georgetown 8-1, St. John's 7-1. Away Record:
Georgetown 0-1, St. John's 2-2. Neutral Record: Georgetown 2-1, St. John's
0-2. Conference Record: Georgetown 0-2, St. John's 1-2. Series Record: St.;
John's leads, 53-44.
GAME NOTES: The 19th-ranked Georgetown Hoyas will attempt to bounce back from
consecutive losses in their first two league games when they take on the St.
John's Red Storm in a long-time Big East conference rivalry at Madison Square
The last time the Hoyas hit the floor did not end well as they were knocked
off by Pittsburgh, 73-45, on their own court. The loss followed a 49-48 loss
to Marquette on the road in the conference opener for Georgetown, which is
now 10-3 overall. The loss to Marquette came in the first true road test for
the Hoyas, who will return home to host Providence next.
After a tough 58-56 loss to Rutgers on Wednesday, St. John's is now 1-2 in
league play with the single win a 53-52 victory over Cincinnati. Overall the
Red Storm are 9-6 with losses in three of their last four games. In terms of
home contests the Red Storm have seven wins in eight tries at MSG where they
will remain against No. 17 Notre Dame on Tuesday.
These teams are two of the original seven that formed the Big East back in
1979. St. John's has gotten the better of Georgetown overall with a 53-44
edge in the all-time series, although the Hoyas have won three straight,
including a series sweep last year.
Georgetown just couldn't find its shooting stroke against Pittsburgh as the
Hoyas hit just 35.1 percent of their field goal attempts with just 13 total
field goals in the contest. No player scored in double figures for Georgetown
which was outscored by sizable margins in the paint (32-16) and off turnovers
The Hoyas have scored less than 50 points four times already this season,
including each of the last two contests. Overall Georgetown is the lowest
scoring team in the Big East (63.5 ppg), while ranking second to last in
rebounds (32.4 pg). The reason the team has won the majority of its games is
because of how well it has played on defense. Georgetown is letting up just
55.7 points per game on 38.7 percent shooting. The Hoyas' opponent scoring
average is the 11th best nationally. Georgetown is powered from the inside by
the frontcourt duo of Otto Porter (12.8 ppg, 7.2 rpg) and Greg Whittington
(12.1 ppg, 7.0 rpg). Markel Starks (11.2 ppg) provides a scoring threat in the
St. John's also had a tough offensive outing against Rutgers as the Red Storm
hit just 35.2 percent from the field, including a 3-of-15 effort from beyond
the arc. The Red Storm had a chance to win the game at the end but
a JaKarr Sampson 3-point heave in the final seconds was off the mark.
The Red Storm may actually be one of the best teams equipped to take on
Georgetown with how well it defends the paint. The team is already one blocked
shot away from tying the school record with 129 rejections this season.
Leading the way has been Chris Obekpa, who blocked five shots against Rutgers
and has now tied a school record with 76 already this season. Obekpa (4.3 ppg,
5.9 rpg) hasn't added much in terms of offense, but is tied with Kansas' Jeff
Withey for the most blocks (5.1 pg) in the country. Powering the offense is
D'Angelo Harrison (21.5 ppg, 4.5 rpg), who is tied for the conference lead in
scoring. Sampson (13.7 ppg, 6.8 rpg) is the only other player on the squad
scoring in double figures. St. John's matched up well with Georgetown as they
also fail to score particularly well (69.1 ppg), ranking 12th in the league in
points per game, while holding teams to less than 40 percent shooting on the
With Obekpa and Sampson on the interior the Red Storm should be able to handle
the Hoyas' frontcourt to free Harrison to light up the scoreboard and push St.
John's to victory.
Sports Network Predicted Outcome: St. John's 67, Georgetown 63
01/12 10:31:55 ET
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