St. John's Welcomes Georgetown to MSG for Sunday Matinee

NEW YORK, NY—Things are beginning to get clammy for Chris Mullin and the St. John’s Red Storm (15-4, 3-4) who welcome in old friend and conference foe Patrick Ewing and his Georgetown Hoyas (12-7, 2-4) to Madison Square Garden for the second home game in Manhattan during the 2018-19 season. Scheduled tip is set for noon.

Coming off a brutal defeat against the Butler Bulldogs at the hostile Hinkle Fieldhouse, the Johnnies have their sights set on attempting to remain in the “Big Dance” conversation that could continue to head south if things do not go in the correct direction that Mullin, Shamorie Ponds, and Mustapha Heron need to. The standings are extremely tight, where teams can move from the third overall spot in the conference down to eighth with a single loss or win. Between the two games in Indianapolis and Sunday afternoon against the Hoyas, there has been an eight day rest. Senior forward Marvin Clark II had some insight about the long stretch of not playing, Yeah, I think it’s always good to take a step away from the game. Coach wanted us to take this week off and get our bodies right. I think some things got a little overwhelming. We’re anxious to play. We’re getting ready to play Georgetown. It’s going to be a crazy atmosphere. Students are back [at school]. That will give us new life.

Georgetown’s Matt McClung will be presumably in the starting lineup after missing the first game against these two schools in D.C. with an injury.

Once an option and an assumption to take down the Hoyas, now becomes a required task at hand. “I’d say it’s a must-win for us. We can’t drop two in a row and definitely can’t lose at home. This game is major for us so when we go on the road so we don’t lose our confidence.” The Johnnies have dropped the last three of four contests that included a lowly loss to DePaul on the white-out game on the school’s campus. The Red Storm will be looking to sweep the season series against Georgetown for the first time in over 20 years.

Awaiting the outcome of the long-term affect of Shamorie Ponds’ back still seems to be a mystery, as he missed the DePaul contest with “lower-back tightness.” The junior guard weighed in on how it feels, “It’s feeling good. I’ve been getting a lot of treatment. It’s definitely getting there. I’ve been working on taking care of my body with these couple of days off. I’m pretty much close to 100 percent.”

The next three games after Georgetown begins with a trip to Omaha to face Creighton, who they handled roughly 10 days ago in Queens. A rematch of last year’s “Garf Games” as they travel to Duke to face Zion Williamson and the #2 Blue Devils (Athletic Director Mike Cragg’s homecoming). The road-trip concludes with a trip to the newly constructed Fiserv Forum in Milwaukee to battle Markus Howard and his #12 Marquette Golden Eagles.

Joseph Jarzynka