St. John's-Georgetown Preview

The Associated Press

One of Georgetown's biggest strengths is 3-point field goal percentage defense, and it was a major advantage last month against St. John's.

The No. 12 Hoyas seek to make it seven straight home wins over the Red Storm on Sunday in a Big East rematch.

Georgetown (18-5, 8-4) is limiting opponents to 27.9 percent 3-point shooting for the conference's best mark. St. John's (10-14, 4-8), meanwhile, is one of the worst 3-point shooting teams in the nation at a Big East-low 27.6 percent.

The Red Storm missed all 10 attempts in a 69-49 home loss to the Hoyas on Jan. 15. It was the eighth time in 10 meetings that St. John's was held below 60 points, and the Red Storm expect another dose of tough defense as they try for their first road win in the series since Jan. 18, 2003.

"We understand that they're going to make us move the ball," said interim coach Mike Dunlap, who continues to fill in for Steve Lavin. "They're a contain and contest defensive team."

Georgetown looks to improve upon a 12-1 home record as it tries to bounce back from Wednesday's 64-61 overtime loss at No. 2 Syracuse. The Hoyas shot 33.3 percent and limited the Orange to 34.9 percent in a defensive battle.

"You lose an overtime game, it's tough to take sometimes," coach John Thompson III said. "The players and coaches, you go back over the list of things, that you coulda, shoulda done differently."

One positive Wednesday was the Hoyas' 52-35 edge on the glass. They held a 42-34 rebounding advantage in the first meeting with the Red Storm, who do not have a player taller than 6-foot-8.

"We're well-versed in what Georgetown likes to do, it's just a matter of whether we can execute and rebound with them," said Dunlap, whose club has dropped two straight by a combined 47 points.

While St. John's has been searching all season for perimeter shooting, Georgetown features the Big East's best 3-point shooter in Hollis Thompson (47.9 percent). The junior forward made five 3-pointers and scored all 20 of his points in the second half against the Red Storm last month.

He's just 8 of 24 on 3-point tries over his last six games, though, and the Hoyas are hoping to put Wednesday's poor shooting effort behind them.

"We have to get over that and move on," John Thompson III said. "We have St. John's here at home on Sunday. So we have to come in and play intense basketball on Sunday."

The Red Storm, 0-9 against ranked opponents for the nation's worst mark, have some reason for optimism. They were within three points with 6 1/2 minutes left in the first matchup, and star freshman Moe Harkless fouled out with 5:16 to go and the margin at eight.

Top scorer D'Angelo Harrison matched a season low with five points in that defeat.

"I had a tough game, I think I shot 1-for-12 in that game," Harrison said. "I don't think that's going to happen again and I think that me and Moe and Phil (Greene) are going to step up since we're on the road, because we're the new leaders on the team so we've got to step up.

"They're a very good team and they're well coached, so we've got to be ready."

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