Tougher than the Storm: Men’s basketball wins in double overtime to sweep St. John’s

January 20, 2018

Oh, the nostalgia. Patrick Ewing and Chris Mullin back at it again, only this time in the Capital One Arena as head coaches of their alma maters instead of the Capital Centre trading body blows in the paint. This game marks the second time the Red Storm (10-10, 0-8 Big East) and the Hoyas (13-6, 3-5 Big East) have played since Ewing took over reigns on the Hilltop. Earlier this season, the Hoyas traveled to Madison Square Garden where they held on 69-66 in a nail-biting thriller. Not to be outdone by the drama of their first matchup, both teams refused to give up, forcing the game into two overtimes. After an exhilarating 50 minutes of basketball, the Blue and Gray once again prevailed, 93-89.

Junior forward Marcus Derrickson led the Hoyas with a career-high 27 points and 11 rebounds. Freshman guard Jamorko Pickett also recorded career-highs with 16 points and nine rebounds. St. John’s sophomore guard Shamorie Ponds recorded 33 points and eight assists for the Red Storm.

Saturday’s victory is huge for Georgetown, as they came into the game with only two conference wins, one against the Johnnies and the other against the struggling DePaul Blue Demons (8-10, 1-5 Big East). St. John’s, who still remains winless in Big East play after the loss, continues to struggle in tight games, losing all but two of their conference games by less than 10 points.

The game itself started slowly. Eight minutes in, the game was a lowly 10-9 contest in which both teams were plagued by turnovers, fouls, and missed shots. The teams began to heat up as the game continued, and the Hoyas headed to the locker room with a narrow 30-29 lead.

When the second half started, both teams looked completely different to the struggling offensive teams from the first frame. The Hoyas and Red Storm went back and forth with six lead changes in the second half alone fueled by scoring runs for both sides. Three free throws from freshman guard Jahvon Blair put the Hoyas up 68-65 with 1:33 left in regulation. Chris Mullin refused to give up hope for his team in these final seconds, however, and managed to push his team. After a missed free throw attempt by Ponds, the Hoyas had the ball up by three with under a minute to go. Unable to find an open man with the Johnnies pressing hard on defense, Blair threw the ball to no one, keeping the Johnnies in the contest. The Red Storm then managed to score twice more, resulting in a 69-69 deadlock at the end of regulation after Ponds’ layup with 13 seconds to go.

“At this point of the game you can’t turn the ball over. This is winning time,” Ewing said. “At that time of the game you got to impose your will.”

Overtime was all about the Hoyas and Derrickson. After missing two key free throws, leading to a St. John’s two-possession lead with 37.5 seconds left, he quickly redeemed himself with a huge block on Ponds. He drew a three-point foul and made all three free throws, bringing the Hoyas within two. He followed that up with a contested three to tie the game with four seconds left on the clock sending the game into double overtime and driving Georgetown fans berserk.

“After Marcus missed his two free throws, I see his head was down. And then he came back and scored the next six points and got the game back to double overtime.” sophomore guard Jagan Mosely said.

Once Derrickson scored the first points of double overtime, the Hoyas never looked back. They showed a new sign of life in their final five minutes and were sparked by big plays from Mosely, including a four-point play from a corner three. Despite a late three-pointer from Ponds that cut the lead to two, Georgetown held on to make the head-to-head score Ewing 2, Mullin 0.

Georgetown looks for a second sweep this Wednesday when they host the Blue Demons at Capital One Arena. The game tips off at 8:30 p.m. ET and will be broadcasted on FS1. Follow @GUVoiceSports for more game day updates and breaking news.

Teddy Carey
Teddy is a junior and currently an Assistant Halftime Leisure Editor. He is an avid fan of Gaelic hurling and the state of Arkansas. In his free time, Teddy advocates for the raising of NBA hoops because the league is currently too easy.

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