St. John's aims to exact revenge vs. Georgetown

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The last time the Georgetown-St. John's rivalry was played on the campuses of the respective schools, legends Patrick Ewing and Chris Mullin were high school seniors.

That was in the 1980-81 season, before both teams moved on to big arenas. But now, 40 years later in the era of COVID-19 and a limit on crowd size, the two longtime rivals have gone home.

They played a wild game a week ago at Georgetown's McDonough Arena and will conclude the season series Sunday night at Carnesecca Arena on the campus of St. John's in Jamaica, N.Y.

Last week, St. John's held a seven-point lead with less than three minutes left in regulation, forced overtime on a layup by Greg Williams, and took a four-point lead in overtime before allowing a game-ending 8-1 run and taking a 97-94 loss when Georgetown's Qudus Wahab hit the go-ahead dunk with 92 seconds left in overtime.

"We kept our composure," said Ewing, now the head coach at Georgetown. "We could have easily let go of the rope when we went down eight points at the end of the game. We made so many mistakes to let them tie the game, but we didn't put our head down."

Last week's game was added two days before tipoff due to COVID-19 concerns among other Big East opponents, and this year's season series is being conducted on the campuses for the first time since the 1980-81 season when Mullin was a senior at Brooklyn's Xaverian High School and Ewing was a senior at Rindge and Latin in Cambridge, Mass.

In the fourth year with Ewing coaching, Georgetown (3-3, 1-1 Big East) is off to an uneven start while averaging 75.3 points. The Hoyas also lead the Big East in blocks (5.0), thanks to Wahab, who had nine blocks to go along with 17 points and 10 rebounds in last week's contest.

St. John's (5-4, 0-3) is second in the league in scoring (81.3) points per game but is also allowing 79 points and has allowed at least 90 points three times. The Red Storm followed up the wild game at Georgetown by getting dominated most of the game in Thursday's 94-76 home loss to No. 9 Creighton.

St. John's trailed by 16 early and faced a 22-point deficit in the second half. Julian Champagnie hit five 3-pointers and scored 17 points, but the Red Storm allowed 56.7 percent shooting, were outscored in the paint 42-30 and outrebounded 44-26.

"We are still waiting to get the blue collar out of our basketball team," said St. John's coach Mike Anderson, whose team allowed 71.6 points per contest in the 2019-20 season. "Our guys last year, they took pride in their defense. Truth be told, we have got some of the same guys and we just need them to get all connected."

Georgetown has won the past four regular-season meetings but in its last visit to New York, St. John's scored 23 straight points and pulled off a 75-62 win on the opening night of the Big East tournament on March 11.

--Field Level Media

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