Georgetown goes down big, nearly comes back in loss to St John’s

February 22, 2024

Photo by Daniel Rankin

On Feb. 3, Georgetown men’s basketball (8-18, 1-14 BIG EAST) lost to the St John’s Red Storm (15-12, 7-9 BIG EAST), 90-85. It was a game in which the Hoyas gave the crowd at Capital One Arena a complete display of why their only conference win is against DePaul but also why the future is still bright for Georgetown.   

St John’s opened the game on a 7-2 spurt to get an early lead, but in reality neither team was playing very good basketball. Sloppy turnovers and suspect rebounding plagued both teams early. Unfortunately for Georgetown, St. John’s went into the under 16 timeout up 9-4, then built their lead out to 18-7, getting to the rim seemingly at will and keeping the Hoyas off of the offensive glass. Even worse for Georgetown, trying to stop the Red Storm from getting to the paint didn’t help much at all as the Johnnies rained in three consecutive three pointers from graduate guards Daniss Jenkins and Chris Ledlum to balloon the lead to 35-14.

After going down 21, the Hoyas started showing some real fight. First a dunk by freshman forward Drew Fielder, then triples by redshirt freshman guard Rowan Brumbaugh, sophomore guard Jayden Epps, then Brumbaugh again closed the gap significantly. The Hoyas went into the half down 39-32, and frankly, if not for some missed easy chances by Georgetown, the lead could have been smaller. Brumbaugh and Epps led the Hoyas in scoring with 10 apiece at the break. Jenkins led the Red Storm with 11.

After blowing a 19 point lead against Seton Hall in their last game, the Red Storm appeared to be on the verge of a meltdown once again. The students (all 40 of them) were rocking in the student section. Chants of Un-Ath-Le-Tic could be easily heard by the St John’s bench (a reference to St John’s head coach Rick Pitino’s comments about his team from their previous game). In fact, one Johnnies fan took exception to the chants, needing to be calmed down by security. 

The second half would be back and forth as Georgetown attempted to battle closer and the Red Storm did their best to stave off a potentially season crippling quadrant four loss to the Hoyas. After a few less-than-stellar outings, Epps started to get going with six points during the early section of the period to keep the Hoyas within seven on multiple occasions. But as the clock ticked inside sixteen minutes to play, St John’s sophomore guard RJ Luis Jr. and company went on a 12-2 run to open up a 58-41 lead. 

The last few Georgetown games to follow this pattern have ended in a complete collapse and blowout loss, but today the Hoyas showed more fight than they’ve had in awhile. It was a group effort. Epps, junior guard Dontrez Styles, and senior forward Supreme Cook all helped Georgetown get back into the game, pulling within ten points with eight minutes to play. Epps and Brumbaugh were stellar in the period, but while the Hoyas offense was humming, the defense still struggled to hold back the St John’s offense. A late flurry by the Hoyas punctuated by an Epps three off a Brumbaugh assist made it a close game, with the Hoyas down only 82-78. Jenkins and the Red Storm responded though, getting a bucket on the other end. Senior guard Wayne Bristol Jr., who may be rediscovering his three point shot that made him so lethal at Howard, made his third three of the day and the Hoyas were within a possession for the first time since the score was 3-0. 

While the Hoyas fought hard, it wasn’t enough. On their last few possessions, the Johnnies would score every time they touched the ball and the game ended 90-85 after a meaningless layup in the closing seconds by Brumbaugh. He would finish with 15 points and 7 assists. Epps led the game in scoring with 31 points on a night the Hoyas went 10-20 from behind the arc.

The Hoyas will go on the road on Saturday Feb. 24 when they look to sweep the season series against DePaul (3-22, 0-14 BIG EAST) at 6 p.m. EST at Wintrust Arena. The game will be broadcast on CBSSN. For continued coverage and updates on Georgetown sports, follow @GUVoiceSports on Twitter.

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Stephen J. Chisholm

Hoyas showing grit.