Junior forward Hollis Thompson scored all 20 of his points in the second half as No. 11 Georgetown (14-3, 4-2) dominated St. John’s (8-9, 2-4) late in a 69-49 win at Madison Square Garden.
“Coming out of halftime you’ve just got to say ‘well you know none have dropped, but I have confidence in my shooting,’” Thompson said. “If the last ones haven’t dropped that means I got one coming soon.”
After winning 11 in-a-row, the Hoyas lost two straight, bringing unpleasant reminders of previous seasons and how the team faded late. That conversation was put on hold for at least one day as the Hoyas befuddled the Red Storm on defense.
St. John’s shot just 31.5 percent from the field with 13 turnovers. The only consistent scorer for St. John’s was freshman forward Moe Harkless who scored 21 points, but who fouled out with 5:15 remaining in the game, leaving his team without its primary scoring option.
“They were really long,” Harkless said. “We were just trying to pound the ball in the paint and trying to get them to foul us. I think we didn’t do a great job of attacking their zone. I think we’ll get better. We’ve just got to do better.”
The Hoyas also got solid contributions from freshmen Otto Porter and Greg Whittington, who combined for 21 points and 18 rebounds. Of those 18 rebounds, 11 were offensive and came at key moments in the first half when the Hoyas were struggling to score.
“Greg and Otto, particularly Greg, came in during a stretch and I feel like he got two, three or four offensive rebounds to help get us out of that drought,” Georgetown Head Coach John Thompson III said. “His offensive rebounding helped us and several of those were key during that first half stretch.
Key Players: In addition to Thompson, Porter and Whittington’s production, senior guard Jason Clark scored 15 points, along with grabbing eight rebounds and dishing out eight assists for the Hoyas. Outside of Harkless for the Red Storm, freshman guard Sir’Dominic Pointer was the only other player in double figures with 12 points.
Key Stretch: After St. John’s closed the gap to 48-45 with 6:36 remaining in the second half, Georgetown went on a 21-4 run to close out the game.
Next Up: Georgetown travels to DePaul Jan. 17 while St. John travels to South Florida Jan. 18.