No. 11 Georgetown beats St. John's 69-49St. John's Moe Harkless, right, fouls Georgetown's Mikael Hopkins during the first half of an NCAA college basketball game in New York, Sunday, Jan. 15, 2012. (AP Photo/Seth Wenig)
NEW YORK (AP) Hollis Thompson is a shooter. A very good shooter. The statistics bear that out but so does his attitude about the craft.
After missing all four of his 3-point attempts and not scoring in the first half Sunday against St. John's, Georgetown's 6-foot-8 junior made four of five from beyond the arc and finished with 20 points in the 11th-ranked Hoyas' 69-49 victory.
''Coming out of halftime you have to say 'Well, none have dropped but I have confidence in my shooting and if the last ones haven't dropped that means I got one coming soon,''' said Thompson, who leads the Big East in 3-point shooting at 52.4 percent.
Hoyas coach John Thompson III - no relation - was quick to jump in.
''Hollis didn't realize he was 0 for. That's what makes him a good shooter,'' the coach said.
One of Thompson's 3s in the second half broke an 8-0 run that had brought the Red Storm within 48-45 with 6:36 to play.
''In the second half, obviously, Hollis got free on us and that made a huge difference,'' said St. John's assistant coach Mike Dunlap, who again ran the team in the absence of head coach Steve Lavin, who is recovering from prostate cancer surgery on Oct. 6. ''I thought that Hollis was the difference with his ability to spread us.''
Jason Clark had 15 points, eight rebounds and eight assists and freshman Otto Porter added 13 points and 10 rebounds for the Hoyas (14-3, 4-2 Big East), who had lost to West Virginia and Cincinnati after an 11-game winning streak.
''I'm going to give you a cookie-cutter answer but it's true, every game in this league is big,'' said John Thompson, whose team plays at DePaul on Tuesday. ''Obviously, just emotionally, you don't want to lose three in a row and then have to go back on the road again. Wins in this league on the road are hard to come by and every night is a dogfight. Every night you have to scrape. So, this was a big game in that regard.''
Freshman Moe Harkless had 21 points and 10 rebounds for St. John's (8-9, 2-4), but he fouled out with 5:15 to play in the midst of a 12-2 run that gave the Hoyas a 58-47 lead.
Freshman Sir'Dominic Pointer had 12 points for the Red Storm, who have lost four of five and dropped to 0-7 this season against ranked teams. Last season, St. John's had six wins over teams in the Top 25.
''Every game comes to a point where me or D (freshman D'Angelo Harrison) will have to take over the game, especially one like this with a comeback like we had,'' Harkless said, ''but unfortunately it wasn't there and we didn't execute.''
Harrison, who averaged 19.2 points on 43.8 percent shooting over the last six games, finished with five points on 1-for-12 shooting.
''I just try to take shots that are there but I got blocked a couple times and that hurts,'' Harrison said. ''My teammates did a good job of keeping me in the game. ... (Junior) Maik Stith told me to keep my head up and there's going be games like this in the Big East even for the top players.''
Georgetown used a 7-0 run early in the second half to take a 35-25 lead and the final points of it were a 3-pointer and an impressive dunk on the fast break by Thompson.
St. John's did get the crowd of 11,475 into the game with the 8-0 run but Thompson hit a 3 from right in front of the Georgetown bench to end it and center Henry Sims then got Harkless to foul him on consecutive possessions. He made three of the four free throws but much more important was that they were Harkless' fourth and fifth fouls.
''I thought we made the hustle plays,'' John Thompson said. ''I think our guys did a good job of making the ball hop, hitting the open man.''
The Hoyas closed the game on an 11-1 run.
''It feels good,'' Clark said. ''It's always good to get wins on the road and keep boosting our confidence.''
St. John's, which came into the game 15th in the 16-team Big East in 3-point shooting at 25.8 percent, finished 0 of10 from beyond the arc.
''We reeled the crowd back in with some defensive flair but again Hollis got loose on us,'' Dunlap said. ''We were trying to climb up the hill one more time. It was an unbelievable effort by our guys.''
The loss dropped the Red Storm to 1-4 this season at Madison Square Garden with all but one of the losses being to a ranked team.