St. John’s 74, Georgetown 73
When: 7:00 PM ET, Wednesday, March 8, 2017
Where: Madison Square Garden, New York
NEW YORK – (Special to Digital Sports Desk by The Sports Xchange) – Shamorie Ponds scored 17 points and St. John’s beat St. Georgetown 74-73 on Wednesday night in a contentious first round game of the Big East Tournament at Madison Square Garden in New York. The eighth-seeded Red Storm (14-18) face top-seeded and No. 2 Villanova in Thursday afternoon’s quarterfinals.
Bashir Ahmed added 14 while Malik Ellison contributed 11 for St. John’s.
L.J. Peak tied a season-high with 24 points for Georgetown (14-18). Rodney Pryor added 17 for the Hoyas.
The game featured hard fouls all night but tensions escalated with 8:35 remaining in the second half when St. John’s was up 60-55. St. John’s reserve Amar Alibegovic was shoved under the Georgetown hoop from behind by Georgetown’s Bradley Hayes and Marcus Derrickson. After some pushing and shoving, technical were assessed to St. John’s coach Chris Mullin and a Georgetown assistant while Alibegovic was given a flagrant-one foul for his hard shove of Peak.
St. John’s continued holding the lead but wobbled to the finish.
It was 74-72 when Marcus Lovett missed a short jumper with about a minute left. Hayes split at the line with 41.3 seconds remaining but Ponds missed a drive on St. John’s next possession.
With 6.6 seconds left, St. John’s appeared to deflect the ball out of bounds and the call stood. Peak missed a layup and Marcus Derrickson missed another attempt at the rim as the buzzer sounded.
St. John’s held a 38-34 halftime lead despite missing 17 of its first 22 shots and shooting 30 percent. Marcus Lovett picked up his third foul with 9:08 left but the Red Storm outscored the Hoyas 22-12 the rest of the half.
DePaul 67, Georgetown 65
When: 7:00 PM ET, Wednesday, February 22, 2017
Where: Verizon Center, Washington, DC
WASH DC – (Special to Digital Sports Desk by The Sports Xchange) – Billy Garrett made two free throws with 0.2 seconds remaining to lift visiting DePaul to a 67-65 Big East victory over Georgetown on Wednesday night, snapping the Blue Demons’ 10-game losing streak. Garrett took the inbounds pass with 4.9 seconds left and drove the length of the floor before drawing contact from the Hoyas’ Akoy Agau on his layup attempt a split second before the buzzer sounded.
Garrett led DePaul (9-19, 2-13 in Big East) with 15 points, but the winning free throws were his only tallies in the second half. Tre’Darius McCallum scored all 13 of his points after halftime, including consecutive layups to tied it at 65 with 29.7 seconds left.
R.J. Curington added a season-high 14 points as DePaul snapped a 16-game losing streak when playing on the road or neutral courts.
Georgetown (14-14, 5-10) was paced by Jessie Govan’s 18 points. Rodney Pryor contributed 14 points and Marcus Derrickson added 11.
The Hoyas bolted to an 11-3 lead in the opening three minutes and built it all the way to 14 points midway through the first half.
Instead of folding, the Blue Demons kept pushing and reeled off a 17-2 run to close the first half. Levi Cook’s put back and free throw with 1:47 left pulled DePaul into a 36-36 tie.
Then came the most dramatic sequence of the half: The 6-foot-5 Curington soared to reject the 6-10 Govan’s dunk attempt, got up off the floor, hustled to the other end and buried a 3-pointer to give DePaul a 39-36 lead at the break. Curington scored 8 points in the first half despite entering the night with just 10 points in Big East play.
DePaul’s Eli Cain opened the second half with two driving. Govan’s putback at the 18:04 mark snapped DePaul’s 15-0 run and a 5:11 scoreless streak.
Shortly thereafter, the Hoyas went on a quick 8-0 spree that regained the lead for the hosts. Neither team could make more than a brief run, which ensured a dramatic finish.
Marquette at Georgetown
When: 12:00 PM ET, Saturday, February 11, 2017
Where: Verizon Center, Washington, DC
WASH DC – (Special to Digital Sports Desk by The Sports Xchange) – Luke Fischer is set to join some fairly exclusive company for Marquette, which needs a win Saturday at Georgetown to keep its head above water in the Big East. The senior is nine points and two rebounds shy of becoming the 20th player in school history with 1,000 career points and 500 career rebounds.
Fischer, who started his career at Indiana, recorded his eighth career double-double Tuesday, but it wasn’t enough as the Golden Eagles fell to 6-6 in the conference with a loss to No. 21 Butler. For all the good Fischer has done on the court, the Golden Eagles aren’t that much closer to reaching the NCAA Tournament then they were in his first season in 2014-15, when they finished 13-19. Against Butler, it was a case of poor offense and not the poor defense that has plagued Steve Wojciechowski’s team for much of the season. The Hoyas come in off a pair of losses to Seton Hall and No. 2 Villanova, but their 6-2 home mark against Marquette suggests the losing streak will not reach three games.
TV: Noon ET, FOX
ABOUT MARQUETTE (15-9, 6-6 Big East): The Butler game was the perfect example of the type of inconsistencies that have hurt the Golden Eagles all season. Andrew Rowsey, a junior who had posted three straight 20-point games, was held scoreless on four shot attempts, while Haanif Cheatham followed up the 15 points and eight rebounds he had against DePaul with four points and two rebounds against Butler. “Our defense was good enough to win the game, our offense let us down,” Wojciechowski told the media. “Our decision-making.”
ABOUT GEORGETOWN (13-12, 4-8): While a bit of a long shot barring a scoring splurge or a deep run in the Big East tournament, Rodney Pryor has a chance to finish the season with 600 or more points, something accomplished only 11 times in school history. The senior, who eclipsed 500 points in each of his two seasons at Robert Morris, sits at 456 points and would need eight games at his current average of 18.2 points to hit the mark. Allen Iverson and Eric Floyd are the only players with two such seasons in Georgetown history.
1. Fisher is fifth in career blocked shots (140) and will likely finish his career as the top shooter (62.1 percent this season) in school history.
2. With 1,076 career points, Georgetown junior L.J. Peak had a chance to put his name among the school’s all-time greats should he return for his final season.
3. With a 10-point win in late December to open Big East play, Marquette drew even with Georgetown at 11 wins apiece in the series.
Villanova 75, Georgetown 64
When: 7:00 PM ET, Tuesday, February 7, 2017
Where: The Pavilion, Villanova, Penn
VILLANOVA – (Special to Digital Sports Desk by The Sports Xchange) – Josh Hart’s confidence never wavered. Despite being mired in a second-half shooting slump, the preseason National Player of the Year candidate stepped up when Villanova needed him most. Hart scored 25 points, including a dagger 3-pointer with 1:24 remaining, Donte DiVincenzo added 15, and second-ranked Villanova defeated Georgetown 75-64 on Tuesday night at The Pavilion.
“He’s a stud,” Villanova coach Jay Wright said of Hart. “Certain guys, just physically, they can handle the minutes. Josh is one of those guys. He makes that shot at the end.”
“You’ve got to have strong legs to catch and drill that,” Wright said.
Mikal Bridges scored 11 points and Kris Jenkins had nine for the Wildcats (23-2, 10-2 Big East), who won their fourth in a row despite making just 9 of 29 shots from the field in the second half.
Villanova won once again, yet had lapses down the stretch to make the game tight.
“It starts with the three seniors,” Hart said, referring to himself, Jenkins and Darryl Reynolds. “We’ve got to demand that of ourselves and play Villanova basketball.”
The victory was Villanova’s 48th straight at The Pavilion, its cozy, 6,500-seat, on-campus arena. The current record-setting streak began in February 2013, the game after losing 55-52 to Providence.
For some tense moments, the streak appeared to be in jeopardy.
“We’ve got to become more focused,” Wright said. “They’re fun-loving, loose guys. They get down, blow leads, and it doesn’t affect them. They don’t panic.”
Georgetown’s preparation for this game took a difficult twist when the Hoyas’ team bus collided with an SUV north of Baltimore on Monday afternoon. Guard Tre Campbell sustained a bruised right knee in the accident and wasn’t able to dress for the game. In addition, coach John Thompson III hurt a knee and was noticeably hobbling the entire game.
After the accident, another bus was provided and the team traveled to the Philadelphia area.
Thompson limped up onto the postgame podium and said that he’s going to the doctor on Wednesday to have the knee checked.
“Our prayers go out to the other people that were in the accident,” Thompson said.
“It’s a blessing no one got hurt and we were able to play this game,” added Rodney Pryor, who scored 20 points.
L.J. Peak led the Hoyas (13-12, 4-8) with 21 points.
Georgetown improved a bit on its long-range shooting, going 6 of 18 from 3-point territory after hitting just 1 of 19 on Saturday in a two-point overtime loss to Seton Hall.
Villanova maintained its double-digit lead midway through the second half thanks mostly to its suffocating defense, especially on the perimeter.
DiVincenzo’s driving layup gave the Wildcats a 56-39 edge with 10:59 left.
The Hoyas responded with a 7-0 run to get within 56-46, forcing Villanova to take a timeout.
Hart was 6 of 9 in the first half but missed his first seven shots after halftime, and Georgetown eventually climbed within 58-49 with 7:07 remaining. Hart, Jenkins and Jalen Brunson missed 14 consecutive shots in the second half.
Pryor’s baseline jumper cut the advantage to 58-51.
Peak later knocked down a 3-pointer and Pryor hit a layup to close the gap to 60-58 with 3:49 left.
“You fight and claw to get back in it and you end with them going on a run,” Thompson said. “That’s what good teams do.”
Hart snapped the shooting drought with a huge 3-pointer to push the Wildcats ahead 66-59 with 1:24 remaining.
It was enough to propel the Wildcats to a hard-fought victory.
“We’ve got to continue to grow,” Wright said.
After an early 12-9 deficit, the hot-shooting Wildcats took control. A 10-0 run gave them a 19-12 advantage, and the margin ballooned to 28-15 on a 3-pointer by Brunson.
Hart led the way with 17 first-half points as the Wildcats were up 43-28 at the break.
NOTES: Villanova coach Jay Wright picked up his 499th victory. Wright began his career in the 1994-95 season at Hofstra. Win No. 500 is possible Saturday when Villanova plays at No. 24 Xavier. … Georgetown played its eighth game this season against a nationally ranked team. … Villanova G Phil Booth was out again because of left knee tendinitis. It is unclear if he will miss the remainder of the season. … This was Georgetown’s first visit to The Pavilion since 2006. … On Monday, Villanova moved up two spots to No. 2 in the Top 25 in the latest rankings, sitting behind only Gonzaga. … The Hoyas play host to Marquette on Saturday.
Where: The Pavilion, Villanova, Penn
There was a time three decades ago when Georgetown was the most feared team in the nation, but these days, No. 2 Villanova is the current force in college hoops. The defending champion Wildcats host the Hoyas on Tuesday as they continue their march toward a top seed in the Big East tournament and potentially in the NCAA Tournament, as well.
Villanova’s memorable season continued Saturday as Donte DiVincenzo once again played the role of hero in a 13-point victory against St. John’s. DiVincenzo, a freshman, scored a career-high 19 points against St. John’s last month, then added 10 in a win against Providence before tipping in the game-winner at the buzzer against Virginia a few games later and, finally, registered a new career high of 20 points in the rematch against the Red Storm. “Donte is athletic, he’s fast,” Wildcats star Josh Hart said. “He’s amazing in transition. Whenever we get a rebound, we want to look up and he does a great job running.” Georgetown had won three in a row before falling to Seton Hall in overtime on Saturday.
TV: 7 p.m. ET, Fox Sports 1
ABOUT GEORGETOWN (13-11, 4-7 Big East): The Hoyas could not overcome Rodney Pryor and L.J. Peak combining to shoot 12-of-32 from the field against Seton Hall, as the high-scoring duo combined to miss 10-of-11 3-pointers. Pryor had been 11-of-21 from 3-point range over the previous four games, while Peak has scored at least a dozen points in nine straight outings. Jessie Govan contributes 9.8 points per game but has raised that average to 14.3 points over the last four games while shooting 68.6 percent from the field.
ABOUT VILLANOVA (22-2, 9-2): While DiVincenzo and Hart (26 points) handled the bulk of the scoring load versus St. John’s, Kris Jenkins – the hero from last season’s national championship game – found himself in a new role. The senior forward came off the bench to “loosen him up,” according to coach Jay Wright, and contributed 15 points, five rebounds and four assists. “That’s just how we want Kris to play,” Wright said. “It says he had four assists, but I thought there were more. He was awesome.”
1. Among Villanova’s top four scorers, Jenkins is the worst 3-point shooter statistically at 39.1 percent.
2. Wildcats PG Jalen Brunson has shot at least 50 percent from the field in 14 straight games.
3. Georgetown shot 1-of-19 from 3-point range against Seton Hall.
Georgetown 71, Creighton 51
When: 7:00 PM ET, Wednesday, January 25, 2017
Where: Verizon Center, Washington, DC
WASHINGTON DC – (Special to Digital Sports Desk by The Sports Xchange) – The scoreboard did not work in the first few minutes of Big East game Wednesday between No. 16 Creighton and Georgetown at the Verizon Center.
And neither did the Bluejays’ outside shooting. Creighton missed its first six shots from 3-point range and was of 1 of 8 from long distance in the first half.
Creighton, which entered the game shooting 41 percent from 3-point range, could never find its rhythm in a 71-51 setback to Georgetown. The Bluejays shot just 34.5 percent from the field and made only 1 of 18 shots from 3-point range.
Georgetown guard L.J. Peak had 20 points to reach 1,000 for his career, graduate guard Rodney Pryor added 18 points and a career-high six assists, and center Jessie Govan had 15 points.
It was the second loss in a row for the Bluejays without guard Maurice Watson Jr., who is out for the season with leg injury sustained Jan. 16 against Xavier.
“We really didn’t have an answer for Pryor and Peak,” Creighton coach Greg McDermott said. “We are fighting a lot of adversity right now. We have lost a good player. We have some guys fighting the flu. We have to be able to corral that adversity and try and use it to our advantage. We are going to need some young guys to step up. Our margin for error is different that it was before.”
Pryor was quick to point out his number of assists.
“We knew we needed to get into our (offense) early,” Pryor said. “Our guards do a good job of putting on pressure. Without Watson … we have guards that can get downhill, and that is good for me.”
Georgetown (11-10, 2-6 Big East) won the battle of the boards 47-36 and improved to 4-0 at home against the Bluejays since Creighton joined the Big East. The Hoyas, who had 20 assists on 29 baskets, led by 12 points at halftime and by 22 with 1:35 left in the game.
“We just made sure we put a body on everybody,” Govan said. “It worked out in our favor today. We were focused on defense today. It was an overall team effort.”
Creighton, meanwhile, needs to find a new identity without Watson, a Philadelphia product.
“Maurice is a very good player. It has been hard because we have to find a different way,” said Bluejays freshman center Justin Patton, who had a team-high 20 points and seven rebounds. “Just toughness and execution (on rebounding). We just have to execute that and be tougher. We just lost focus. We didn’t follow the scouting report.”
Creighton (18-3, 5-3) also got 12 points from guard Marcus Foster.
John Thompson III, the Georgetown head coach, was grateful for a rare win.
“It feels really, really good. I thought out guys … we were very engaged,” Thompson said. “We have watched a lot of film. Clearly they miss Watson. He is one of the best players in the country. They will figure it out. That is a very talented team without him.”
The Hoyas built the margin to 50-34 with 16:30 left in the game on a basket by Peak. Forward Marcus Derrickson scored as boosted built the margin to 55-36.
The Hoyas eventually led by 20, but Patton scored on a layup with 6:48 left to trim the difference to 62-48. Derrickson made a 3-pointer with the shot clock winding down to give Georgetown a 66-48 lead with 4:55 left. The Hoyas led by 21 with less than two minutes to go.
It was the first win in 17 games for Georgetown against a Big East team other than DePaul and St. John’s.
The start of the game was sloppy and the scoreboard did not work in the opening minutes. Neither team shot a free throw until Foster made two with 7:58 left in the first half for Creighton.
Peak hit a 3-pointer to give Georgetown the lead at 16-15 with 6:40 left in the first half.
The Hoyas made it 23-17 on a 3-pointer by Pryor, and reserve forward and Omaha product Akoy Agau — playing against his hometown team — made a layup with one second left in the first half to give Georgetown a 39-27 edge at intermission.
“They are physical, long and athletic,” McDermott said of the Hoyas. “Pryor and Peak were at times able to rise over us and score. We got in such a hurry (against the Georgetown pressure). We certainly have things to tweak. We have got to have guys step up and play better.
“We are going to keep working. That group will not point fingers. I know that for a fact. We are juggling personnel. They all just have to keep working.”
Creighton was averaging a conference-best 87.1 points per game and making 52.8 percent of its shots from the field before Wednesday.
NOTES: Creighton plays at home Saturday against DePaul, and Georgetown is at Butler the same day. … Bluejays G Marcus Foster scored 45 points in the previous two games, including 30 in a loss to Marquette on Saturday. … The teams split two games last season, with Georgetown winning 74-73 at home. … Creighton G Isaiah Zierden is son of Don Zierden, a former assistant with the Washington Wizards.
Xavier 86, Georgetown 75
When: 2:00 PM ET, Sunday, January 22, 2017
Where: Cintas Center, Cincinnati
CINCINNATI — Coming off the toughest three-game stretch in program history, which resulted in three straight losses, No. 22 Xavier badly needed a win on Sunday against Georgetown. Banged up point guard Edmond Sumner and the Musketeers outmuscled the Hoyas to snap their skid.
Xavier’s Chris Mack
Trevon Bluiett scored 24 points and J.P. Macura added 20 as Xavier avoided its longest losing streak in 17 years with an 86-75 victory over Georgetown on Sunday afternoon at Cintas Center.
Sumner wore a brace on his sore left shoulder and had 14 points and seven assists with just one turnover. Late in the first half, Sumner sat on the bench in obvious pain but came back to deliver a strong second-half performance.
“Tough as nails,” Xavier coach Chris Mack said. “He was really locked in on what I was asking him to do: get teammates shots, rebound the ball, play fast and with pace. He’s been a warrior these past few weeks. He just wants to win.”
The victory helped Xavier (14-5, 4-3 Big East) avoid its first four-game losing streak since the 1999-2000 season heading into Thursday’s annual meeting with crosstown rival Cincinnati. The three previous losses came against No. 1 Villanova, No. 13 Butler and No. 7 Creighton.
“Damn, it feels good to win,” Mack said. “I think our team has done a really good job coming to practice with energy. You feel an inordinate amount of pressure because we'[re used to winning. The schedule doesn’t get any easier.”
Xavier outrebounded Georgetown 36-21, including 11-1 on the offensive end. The Musketeers were 36 of 49 from the free throw line.
“Free throw line and rebounding. Those two areas,” Hoyas coach John Thompson III said. “We were getting paint touches and were throwing the ball in there. They did a good job defending us in there.”
Georgetown (10-10, 1-6) shot just 32.7 percent from the field and went 5 of 23 from 3-point range in a 74-56 loss to Providence on Monday.
The Hoyas found their stroke against the Musketeers, shooting 53.8 percent from the floor and 40 percent from beyond the arc to keep the score close for a while.
Rodney Pryor led Georgetown with 23 points and L.J. Peak added 12.
Xavier went nearly eight minutes without a field goal in the first half, but free throws kept the Musketeers in the game. They were in the bonus with 12:03 left in the half and went 12 of 19 from the free-throw line to take a 34-33 lead into halftime.
Peak, the reigning Big East player of the week, didn’t have a field goal until 2:02 remained in the first half. He had five points at halftime.
Malcolm Bernard hit a 3-pointer to put Xavier ahead 30-28 late in the half. He had seven points in the first half and Macura led the Musketeers with nine.
Xavier committed 47 turnovers in the previous three games and they were sloppy at times on Sunday. The Musketeers shot just 38.5 percent from the field and committed seven turnovers in the first half.
Georgetown had six players with two fouls by halftime.
Georgetown 72, Connecticut 69
When: 12:00 PM ET, Saturday, January 14, 2017
Where: Verizon Center, Washington, DC
WASHINGTON DC – (Wire Service Report by The Sports Xchange) – Georgetown held up the Big East name against an old foe gone astray. Georgetown overcame a 14-point deficit in the second half as L.J. Peak scored 21 points in a 72-69 victory over former Big East Conference powerhouse Connecticut on Saturday afternoon. Jessie Govan had 15 points for the Hoyas (10-8), who used a 7-0 run late to take the lead for good. Rodney Pryor scored 14 points for Georgetown, which has won two straight after losing four in a row.
Jalen Adams scored 22 points for the Huskies (7-10). Connecticut missed three shots, including two potential game-tying 3-pointers in the final 14 seconds.
Connecticut led 33-27 at halftime and seemingly took control early in the second half as Rodney Purvis’ layup put the American Athletic Conference program up 43-29. Fueled by 3-pointers, Georgetown scored 11 straight points during a 19-3 run to lead 48-46 in the 66th all-time meeting between former Big East rivals.
After the lead changed sides three times, Govan’s three-point play put the Hoyas up for good at 61-59 with 4:59 remaining. Peak and Pryor capped the pivotal stretch with layups. Georgetown made 5 of 6 free throws over the final 1:42.
Peak, who had 16 points in the second half, scored Georgetown’s final basket with 44 seconds remaining for a 69-65 after the third offensive rebound of the possession. The Hoyas finished 9-2 in second-chance points and shot 48.3 percent from the field in the second half.
Vance Jackson had 13 points for the Huskies, who had won two straight. Kentan Facey scored 10.
The Hoyas hit 6 of 12 3-pointers in the second half after missing nine of 11 before halftime. The Huskies finished 8 of 23 after hitting 6 of 12 in the first half for a 33-27 halftime lead.
NOTES: Hoyas G Tre Campbell played five minutes after missing three consecutive games due to illness. … Connecticut remains on the road for Thursday’s conference game at SMU. The teams split two games last season. … Georgetown concludes its four-game homestand Monday against Providence. The Friars won the first meeting in the home-and-home series 76-70 on Jan. 4.
Where: Verizon Center, Washington, District of Columbia
WASHINGTON DC – (Special Preview for Digital Sports Desk by The Sports Xchange) -With four straight losses, Georgetown hopes to get a much-needed win Monday against visiting St. John’s. The Big East clash features two of the better scoring tandems in the conference, even if the offensive stars haven’t been able to produce many wins.
Rodney Pryor and L.J. Peak average 34.5 points between them and each shoots a good percentage from beyond the arc. Georgetown is a good 3-point shooting team overall, as is St. John’s, which is led offensively by Marcus LoVett (18.1 points) and Shamorie Ponds (17.8). The Red Storm have lost back-to-back contests following an impressive three-game winning streak, while the Hoyas’ four-game skid has included some tough defeats. Georgetown won last season’s two meetings by a combined 45 points, although St. John’s clearly is a better team this campaign.
TV: 6:30 p.m. ET, FS1
ABOUT ST. JOHN’S (8-9, 2-2 Big East): The Red Storm got a career-high 32 points from LoVett in their recent loss to Xavier, while Ponds added 21, seven rebounds and five assists. LoVett has averaged 25.7 points in his last three games and is 10-of-17 from 3-point range over that stretch. The Red Storm could use more help from their reserves after the bench shot a collective 5-of-19 versus Xavier.
ABOUT GEORGETOWN (8-8, 0-4): The Hoyas fell to Butler in overtime their last time out, as Pryor – who averages 18.6 points – was held scoreless on 0-of-8 shooting. He is 6-of-26 from the field over the last two games after shooting at least 50 percent in eight of his previous nine contests. Peak, who led the squad with 21 points versus the Bulldogs, is averaging 15.9 but hopes for more consistency after scoring four, 21, six and 21 points in his last four games, respectively.
1. This is the 106th meeting between the teams, with St. John’s leading the series 55-50.
2. Georgetown C Jessie Govan averages 9.5 points but has totaled 12 in his last three games.
3. St. John’s G Bashir Ahmed was 6-of-25 shooting in his last two contests.