St. John’s basketball blows multiple leads, falls to Georgetown in overtime

St. John's basketball guard Greg Williams Jr. (Photo by Rich Schultz/Getty Images)
St. John's basketball guard Greg Williams Jr. (Photo by Rich Schultz/Getty Images) /

94. 478. 97. 473. Final/OT

The St. John’s basketball team fell in its battle against the Georgetown Hoyas.

It was a game that the St. John’s basketball program would have lost in previous years.

A more talented Red Storm (5-3, 0-2 Big East) team traveling to Washington D.C. to face the Georgetown Hoyas (4-3, 1-1 Big East), many who predicted would be the doormat of the Big East Conference this season.

This was the year that it was going to be different, yet nothing changed.

Following its loss to Seton Hall on Friday afternoon in its first conference game of the season, the Johnnies traveled to the nation’s capital to try and get back on track.

A back-and-forth first half resulted in St. John’s taking charge early in the second half, racing out to a commanding 55-46 lead, until Georgetown came back and cut the deficit to four.

The the Johnnies were able to take a 60-53 lead with 11:53 to play, until the Hoyas rattled off seven points in 35 seconds.

St. John’s and Georgetown traded punches until a Greg Williams Jr. layup gave the Red Storm a 82-75 lead with 2:36 to play as Patrick Ewing called his final timeout.

It seemed all but finished, although the Hoyas and Johnnies had other ideas.

A 83-79 lead with 2:08 to play wasn’t enough, neither was a 85-83 lead with 1:10 to play.

Jahvon Blair gave Georgetown a 86-85 lead with 44 seconds to go on a 3-pointer. Donald Carey put the Hoyas back in front on a mad scramble in which St. John’s looked like it was going to come away with a steal and end the game with a fast break layup.

However, the fight in the Red Storm continued as a brilliant inbounds play from Posh Alexander to Williams Jr. tied the game at the buzzer in regulation.

St. John’s had all the momentum, they had a chance to win the game it let slip through its fingers too many times.

Until it didn’t.

Riding the momentum of Williams Jr.’s basket, the Red Storm posted the first four points of the extra session.

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Georgetown scored nine of the next 11, winning 97-94.

St. John’s couldn’t even get a shot off at the buzzer as Williams Jr.’s prayer was too late as the horn sounded.

The junior had a chance to bring St. John’s within one with five seconds to play but after missing the second free throw, Isaih Moore grabbed an offense rebound and instead of immediately going up with the ball, he brought the ball to the ground, giving Georgetown center Qudus Wahab a chance to recover and block his ninth shot of the night.

Other than the one blunder, Moore was terrific in the defeat with 26 points and 14 rebounds.

“I told the guys after the game, I’ll take the blame for that one,” head coach Mike Anderson said.

“At the end of the day, it was free throws, turnovers, and defense…I think we have to take a bit more pride in [defense].”

St. John’s, a team built on its defense under Anderson, allowed Georgetown to explode for 97 points in 45 minutes.

The Johnnies were 24-of-33 from the free throw line, committing 15 turnovers, and only turning the Hoya’s 17 turnovers into 17 points.

St. John’s basketball has tough road ahead

“It definitely hurts,” Williams Jr. said, but “It won’t define us,” his head coach pointed out.

If this loss will not define St. John’s, the Red Storm certainly have the chance to prove it.

After its ride back to Queens, the Johnnies will welcome No. 8 Creighton into Carnesecca Arena on Thursday night and then get its rematch with Georgetown on Sunday.

A big task awaits the Red Storm if they want to prevent its once promising season from spiraling out of control.