Jan. 9, 2018
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NEW YORK - After erasing a late eight-point deficit to tie the game in the closing minutes, the St. John's men's basketball team saw a potential game-tying three hit off the iron, as the Johnnies fell to Georgetown, 69-66, on Tuesday evening at Madison Square Garden.
Shamorie Ponds paced the Red Storm (10-7, 0-5) with 17 points in addition to a team-best six assists. The sophomore also came up big on the defensive end, registering four steals.
Justin Simon made six of his 10 tries from the floor and all four of his chances from the charity stripe, finishing with 16 points. The Temecula, Calif., native also registered a game-high five assists to go along with four assists.
The third Red Storm player to reach double figures, Marvin Clark II tallied 15 points and a team-high seven rebounds.
Bryan Trimble Jr. enjoyed a breakout performance against the Hoyas (12-4, 2-3), connecting on three of his four tries from downtown en route to a career-high nine points. The freshman also grabbed a career-best four boards.
Tariq Owens, the nation's sixth-leading shot blocker heading into the contest, registered a career-best effort in the paint. The redshirt junior recorded eight rejections, tied for the fourth-most in a single game in program history and just three off the school record. Owens' performance also propelled him past George Johnson and into seventh place on the program's all-time blocks lists (131).
The Johnnies forced 22 Hoya turnovers, converting those miscues into 23 second-chance points. Georgetown enjoyed a lopsided advantage on the glass; however, grabbing 49 boards to the Red Storm's 34.
The Hoyas got off to a hot start from the floor, making four of their first five shots to jump out to an 11-6 lead four and a half minutes into the action. Facing this early deficit, the Johnnies answered with six-straight to take a 12-11 edge on a pair of Ponds free throws less than two minutes later.
Tied at 21 with just under seven minutes to go in the half, the Johnnies scored five-straight on a Trimble triple and a pair of free throws from Clark to take a 26-21 edge.
The Hoyas quickly pulled within one, 26-25, but the Johnnies answered with a Ponds layup and another long ball from Trimble to take their largest lead of the game, 31-25, with 2:11 to go.
The Hoyas pulled even in the waning minutes of the opening period, scoring the half's final six points to knot the score at 31 at the break.
With the Johnnies leading by a pair, 37-35, following a Clark layup two minutes into the latter stanza, Georgetown responded with a 6-0 run, moving ahead by four, 41-37, at the first media timeout of the half.
The teams went scoreless over the next four-plus minutes before a Simon layup ended the drought and pulled the Johnnies within two, 41-39, with 11:24 to go.
Following a Trimble three-ball to pull the Johnnies within one, 43-42, two minutes later, the Hoyas rattled off six unanswered to take their biggest lead of the game at that point, 49-42, with 7:14 showing on the clock.
Trailing by eight, 57-49, with 4:24 to play, the Johnnies responded with eight-straight to tie the contest. Clark kicked off the run with a jumper before Ponds scored the next four to pull the Johnnies within a pair. On the ensuing defensive possession, the Brooklyn native recorded a steal at midcourt and dished it off to Simon, who threw down a two-handed slam on the break to tie the contest at 57.
The Hoyas scored the game's next five points to re-open their lead, but the Johnnies were not done yet, scoring seven of the game's next nine points to knot the contest at 64. Simon netted four points for the Red Storm on the run, including the game-tying layup with 50 seconds to play.
Jesse Govan, who finished the game with 18 points and 13 rebounds, drained a 3-pointer late in the shot clock on the ensuing Georgetown possession. Following a Simon dunk to whittle the deficit back down to one, Jonathan Mulmore converted on both of his free throw tries to push the Georgetown advantage back to three, 69-66, with 10 seconds left. Ponds got a look at the potential game-tying three, but his shot hit off the iron and the Hoyas escaped with the three-point victory.
St. John's returns to action at "The World's Most Famous Arena" on Saturday evening, playing host to No. 1 Villanova at 8 p.m.