St. John's (9-4) at Georgetown (9-3)
The Sports Network
DATE & TIME: Saturday, January 4, 1 p.m. (ET)
FACTS & STATS: Site: Verizon Center (18,277) -- Washington, D.C.
Television: FS1. Home Record: SJU 7-1, Georgetown 7-0. Away Record: SJU 0-1,
Georgetown 0-1. Neutral Record: SJU 2-2, Georgetown 2-2. Conference Record:
SJU 0-1, Georgetown 1-0. Series Record: St. John's leads, 53-46.
GAME NOTES: Long-time rivals get together on Saturday afternoon, as the St.
John's Red Storm and Georgetown Hoyas mix it up in Big East Conference action
at the Verizon Center.
These two programs are holdovers from the original Big East, which morphed
into the new rendition this season. The Red Storm have won 53 of the previous
99 matchups. However, the Hoyas swept the season series last year, and have
won five straight over SJU.
St. John's did not get off to a good start in league play, falling to Xavier
on the road, 70-60, in the first half of a two-game road swing. The Red Storm
played well enough against non-confernece competition, and own a 9-4 record,
although the loss to the Musketeers came in the team's first true road test of
the campaign. St. John's will host No. 11 Villanova next.
Georgetown had a better conference debut, topping DePaul, 61-54, in the second
leg of a three-game homestand. The Hoyas have won back-to-back games to
improve to 9-3 overall, and they are 7-0 at the Verizon Center. A three-game
road trip is next on the schedule, beginning at Providence on Wednesday.
After taking a 29-27 lead at halftime, the Red Storm faltered in the second
half to suffer the loss to Xavier. St. John's hit just 25 percent of its shots
from the floor over the final 20 minutes, while being outscored, 40-18, in the
paint during the course of the entire contest. D'Angelo Harrison scored a
game-high 21 points, but hit on just 7-of-20 field goal attempts.
Harrison (19.6 ppg) is one of only two double-digit scorers for Steve Lavin's
squad. The junior guard has scored at least 20 points in seven games this
season, and had hit better than 55 percent of his field goal tries in the
three games prior to the loss to Xavier. JaKarr Sampson (12.5 ppg, 6.8 rpg) is
the second option on the roster, but he is coming off a 10-point effort
against Xavier in which he connected on only 5-of-15 attempts from the floor.
Chris Obekpa (3.3 ppg, 5.8 rpg, 4.4 bpg) doesn't score much, but he is second
in the nation in blocks, helping the Red Storm hold foes to 65.6 ppg and 39.7
percent field goal efficiency.
Georgetown scored 20 points off 18 DePaul turnovers, and held the Blue Demons
to only 32.7 percent shooting on Tuesday. Markel Starks was the star of the
game, netting a game-high 21 points on 6-of-12 shooting, while D'Vauntes
Smith-Rivera added 12 points.
John Thompson III has made defense a priority at Georgetown and the results
have been impressive once again this season. The Hoyas are only letting up
65.1 ppg while ranking 16th nationally in opponent field goal percentage
(.380). They do fine work on offense as well, netting 75.5 ppg and leading the
Big East in field goal percentage (.491). Starks (16.3 ppg, 4.2 apg) is a
talented scorer and he runs the point effectively as well, leading the team in
assists. Smith-Rivera (15.9 ppg, 4.7 rpg, 3.2 apg) contributes across the stat
sheet in teaming with Starks in the GU backcourt. Joshua Smith (12.1 ppg)
provides another strong scoring option, although he had only five points on 2-
of-3 shooting against DePaul.
Oftentimes, St. John's struggles to consistently hit its shots. That plays
right into the hands of the defensive-minded Hoyas, as they should be able to
apply plenty of pressure, and stay perfect at home as a result.
Sports Network Predicted Outcome: Georgetown 71, Georgetown 63
01/04 10:45:21 ET
Powered by The Sports Network.