Johnnies Stun Georgetown in Big East Tournament Throw Down
NEW YORK, NY--The St. John's Red Storm basketball team played in front of their fans tonight as they took down the Georgetown Hoyas 74-73 in a nail-biter effort led by the likes of Brooklyn native Shamorie Ponds and sophomore guard Malik Ellison. The Red Storm came into the 2017 Big East Tournament on a six game losing streak, where they have gone 2-5 since 2011. Chris Mullin's second appearance in the tournament as the leader on the bench for the Johnnies. The young and inexperienced squad from Jamaica had tons of aspirations heading into tonight, and they prevailed against a Rodney Pryor led Georgetown Hoyas program.
"Big time win for us. Obviously there's been a huge rivalry over the last 40 years. And it was great that we came together as a team and we got the victory." Malik Ellison told WCBS in the postgame press-conference. The game began where St. John's was down by nine points at only the six minute mark in the first half. Junior Forward Bashir Ahmed had 10 points in the first half, where he scored five of those points on the free throw line. Ahmed was 2 for 5 shooting from the field. Shamorie Ponds, ended the half, shooting 3 for 9 from the field with 10 total points. St. John's as a squad shot 10-33 from the field in the first half, where Mullin would most likely want to get a few of those misses back moving forward. Along with shooting 3 from 12 from the perimeter in the first half as well. Federico Mussini ended the half 0 for 8 from the field. The Johnnies ended off the half with 38 points compared to Georgetown's 34.
The 8:35 mark in the second half was where the first round of the Big East Tournament took a trip back in time to 1985, as tempers flared between the Johnnies and Hoyas approximately 13 minutes into the latter half, where foul call on Amar Alibegovic during a throw down dunk by Junior Guard L.J. Peak, caused a few of the Hoyas to "gang" up on the Junior Italian Forward. That didn't sit well with either Head Coach as Chris Mullin and John Thompson III began to give each other some heat after an "intentional" foul on Alibegovic.
Coach Mullin was asked what was said during the scrum, in the postgame. "Asked if he was going to beat me up like his father did. He said no, I love you, so i said okay." John Thompson III is third generation in the coaching ladder for the Georgetown Hoyas, where his father John Thompson II was the coach during the days where Mullin was a player for the Johnnies.
A final inbound pass from Forward Marcus Derrickson, to L.J. Peak, couldn't get the job done as Peak misses the two final shot attempts with 06.7 seconds left to go on the clock, but the defense for St. John's comes through at the perfect moment.
Johnnies defeat Pryor and his Hoyas 74-73 in what could potentially have been John Thompson's final game as coach of the Georgetown program. The Red Storm went on to get their first win since 2011 after defeating Rutgers 65-63 in the "old" Big East.
Shamorie Ponds led the Red Storm with 17 points tonight, as it was Ponds' 11th straight game in double figures. He scored at least 10 points in 30 of 32 games this season.
St. Johns improved to 11-1 on the season when leading at halftime. It is the Red Storm's second win in 10 games this season when they shot below 40 percent from the field. The Johnnies advance to play the national champion Villanova Wildcats tomorrow morning at 11:30am EST on FS1 LIVE from Madison Square Garden in the second round of the Big East Tournament.