After jumping out to an early 13-5 lead, St. John’s struggled to find an offensive groove and fell to the 11th ranked Georgetown Hoyas 69-49.
The Johnnies (8-9, 2-4 Big East) scored just six points over the last 12 minutes of the first half after their quick start allowing the Hoyas a chance to get take a lead they never relinquished.
Both teams struggled from the field in the first half – each squad shot under 35 percent. The Johnnies shooting troubles continued in the second half – the team shot 8-27 after hitting only 9-27 shots in the first half.
Shooting has been an issue all year for St. John’s – they came into the game second to last in the conference in field goal percentage and dead last in 3-point field goal percentage.
The length of the Hoyas did not make the Johnnies shooting struggles any easier. Georgetown played six guys over 6-foot-8-inches tall; many times having four on the court at the same time.
“They were really long,” said Moe Harkless. “I think we didn’t do a great job of attacking their zone.”
Georgetown (14-3, 4-2) discovered their shooting stroke at half time, led by Hollis Thompson who made all seven of his shots in the second half, including five three pointers, after missing all six of his shots over the game’s first 20 minutes.
Twice in the second half the Johnnies were able to climb to within three, but each time saw the Hoyas immediately answer with a sustained run. After St. John’s made it 28-25, Georgetown scored nine straight points to stretch their lead to a dozen. The Red Storm were again within one possession of tying the game with 6:36 remaining in the game before Georgetown closed the game on a 21-4 run.
A majority of the Red Storm offense came from the Queens native Harkless. The freshman had nine of the team’s 17 field goals while scoring 21 points.
The team managed just one field goal over the last 5:15 following Harkless picking up his fifth and final foul.
Reigning Big East Rookie of the Week D’Angelo Harrison suffered through the worst game of his college career scoring only five points on 1-12 shooting and committing several key turnovers on fast breaks.
“I have to do a better job of slowing down and finding the open guy,” Harrison said after the game. “Like coach says find the path that’s open, not the one you want.”
The 19 points the Johnnies scored in the first half was their lowest scoring half of the season. The game also marked the first time St. John’s was held under 50 points. The Red Storm have lost all seven games played this year against ranked opponents after beating six last year.
St. John’s now travels to South Florida (10-8, 3-2) to face the Bulls on Wednesday, January 18.