The Johnnies went into Washington, D.C. riding a three game winning streak.
First and foremost: the A team of all College Basketball A Teams, Gus Johnson and Bill Raftery, were on the Fox Sports 1 call.
Secondly, the first half told the full tale of the tape.
Seldom-used Florida International transfer Joey De La Rosa got the start against a like-bodied, thick Josh Smith. In the beginning sequences, the big bodies banged equally against each other. They essentially canceled each other out and the tone was set as a perimeter/transition game.
I have been questioning what’s happened to former starting St. John’s center Chris Obekpa. A friend on Twitter tells me he’s been hobbled by an ankle injury. If D’Angelo Harrison was the soul of this quad, Obekpa had been the heart. Yet, he hasn’t played in all but 35 minutes in 4 games since an elbow disqualified him in a game against Butler. Obekpa just played 13 minutes against Georgetown. He is a 6’10” junior from Nigeria.
Isaac Copeland was aggressive early for Georgetown. This kid played the power forward as a small lineup was trotted out there with Smith in early foul trouble. Copeland finished with 11 points.
Neither team could buy a bucket in the early going.
Obekpa entered the game at the 15:15 mark while St. John’s trailed just 5-2.
He quickly left the game after a back-and-forth tempo put the game at an 11-7 Georgetown advantage.
The center from Rome, Italy Amar Alibegovic saw some minutes immediately. Alibegovic hit a three-pointer in transition and fed a three-point basket from a post assist on consecutive possessions.
De La Rosa returned at the 11 minute mark (still first half). Alibegovic stayed in, giving St. John’s a rare zone defense with a unique combination of players. Smith missed a jump-hook in one possession, but the Hoyas quickly gobbled up an offensive rebound after the post defense had sucked in.
Alibegovic answered with a dunk in transition.
De La Rosa logged 3 fouls in 12 minutes.
As Gus Johnson points out, Georgetown is still in need of a point guard. The eye test tells you that Smith-Rivera and Trawick are shooting guards chipping in at point. Smith-Rivera completed the game with 6 assists, so there was no shortage of sharing.
In an extremely upbeat first half, Georgetown finished a majority of drives. A Mikael Hoplins dunk on a transition put back put the Hoyas up 26-19, capping an 11-0 run.
Georgetown led at haltime 33-23. The Hoyas held D’Angelo Harrison (4th all-time career scorer at St. John’s) to 0-5 shooting from the field. Rysheed Jordan was also held scoreless in the first half.
St. John’s turned the ball over 12 times resulting in 13 transition points.
Georgetown won by a final score, 79-57.