It was a much needed effort for the St. John’s basketball team against Georgetown.
The morale was low within the St. John’s basketball program after Tuesday’s night crushing defeat against No. 15 Providence but head coach Mike Anderson and players preached resiliency after the final buzzer and that’s what the team showed on Thursday night.
A two game road trip awaited the Johnnies with its star player, Julian Champagnie, in one of the worst shooting slumps of his career and it would have been easy not to show up in Washington D.C. against lowly Georgetown.
However, not only did the Red Storm (12-9, 4-6 Big East) show up, but Champagnie broke out of his slump in emphatic fashion in a 90-77 win over the Hoyas.
“I was letting [my teammates] down. I was letting my team down,” Champagnie said of his recent struggles.
The Big East Player of the Year contender exploded for 27 points on 9-of-20 shooting from the field, 6-of-12 from 3-point range.
Champagnie posted single digit points in his last four games and was 4-of-27 from beyond the arc in his last five contests.
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“I’m in the gym all day. I basically live in there. I’m very hard on myself,” the forward continued.
“I beat myself up about bad games.”
Joel Soriano continued his strong play with 14 points, nine rebounds, and four blocks as he spearheaded a 10-0 run for the Red Storm out of halftime that pushed its lead to 17, 55-38.
St. John’s led by as many as 26 points in the game, 76-50, and never trailed. The Johnnies have not trail in either game against the Hoyas this season.
Georgetown (6-14, 0-9 Big East) looked to be making a charge at the Red Storm in the final five minutes with a 3-point barrage but a layup from Posh Alexander and free throws from Champagnie ballooned the lead back to 15 points, 86-71, with 3:01 to play.
Alexander, after his best game in a St. John’s uniform, stuffed the stat sheet with 10 points, seven rebounds, six assists, and four steals.
St. John’s basketball has a chance to make things interesting
Thursday night was the first of two critical games for the Johnnies.
St. John’s has given itself no room for error in trying to achieve its goals and wins against Georgetown and Butler (11-11, 4-7 Big East) are imperative before the team has another chance for resume building wins against No. 12 Villanova (16-6, 9-3 Big East) and No. 17 UConn (15-5, 6-3 Big East), both at home.
The Red Storm have lost its last seven games against the Bulldogs at Hinkle Fieldhouse and sport an all-time record of 1-8 in the iconic building.
Tipoff is scheduled for 12:00 p.m. (FoxSports1).