St. John's 59, Georgetown 56

March 4, 2009

With 10:42 to go in the second half Tuesday night, Georgetown had a 15-point lead and St. John's wasn't quite through with a stretch where it missed 14 straight shots. When the horn sounded after the overtime period, St. John's had a 59-56 victory and Georgetown's chances for an NCAA at-large were all but gone. "This was definitely one of the best games I've been a part of as a coach," St. John's Norm Roberts said. "We never gave up, even down 15 when everything that could go wrong went wrong. The guys showed tremendous character. I told them 'Don't let the offense affect the defense. All our guys, to a man, stepped up and made big plays." The opposite was true for the Hoyas (15-13, 7-10), who lost for the fifth time in seven games and now will almost need to win next week's Big East tournament to make the NCAA's field of 65. "St. John's did what they had to do coming down the stretch," Georgetown coach John Thompson III said. "They got shots, second shots. They made foul shots. And coming down the stretch we didn't." The Hoyas made one field goal over the closing 10:40 of regulation and went 6-for-12 from the free throw line over that span and the overtime. "I don't think we fell asleep or shut it down," Thompson said. "They got stops and we didn't." Paris Horne and Rob Thomas both scored 16 points for St. John's (15-15, 6-11). Thomas made four free throws over the final 51 seconds of regulation to tie the game at 51 and force the first overtime in the 91 meetings between the schools. D.J. Kennedy made two free throws with 1:15 left in overtime to give the Red Storm the lead for good at 57-56. After a turnover by the Hoyas, Justin Burrell dunked on a rebound with 10 seconds left to make it 59-56. After a timeout with 2.9 seconds to go, DaJuan Summers missed a 3-point attempt at the buzzer. Thompson wouldn't call it an upset. "There are no upsets in league play, especially not this year in this conference with our team," he said. Now, the season final against DePaul is just a game to get ready for next week at Madison Square Garden. "It's extremely critical. Every game we have to win," Thompson said. "It's hard to look at the big picture now with this disappointing a loss. We're going to have to come and make a good showing." Greg Monroe had 18 points and Summers added 10 for the Hoyas, who had won the last five meetings with St. John's. St. John's started the second half by missing its first 14 shots from the field and committed six turnovers as the Hoyas took a 45-30 lead with 10:42 to play. St. John's then made six of its next eight shots. "We got together in the huddle, we executed plays, we listened to details the way Coach gave them to us," Horne said. "It was the little things, getting rebounds, details, sticking together and toughing it out." Summers missed a jumper with 17 seconds left in regulation that could have given Georgetown a four-point lead. Thomas grabbed the rebound and called a timeout although it appeared he was in the air when he called it. Thomas, whose 16 points were a career high, was fouled with 2.3 seconds to go and made them both to force the overtime. "It was crazy. There was a lot of stuff running through my mind," Roberts said. "Coach settled me down. I took my time and knocked them down." Kennedy had nine points and 10 rebounds for the Red Storm, who finished with a 46-25 rebound advantage. "They did a better job of pursuing the basketball than we did," Thompson said. "The disparity in rebounding can't be that bad and we win." Georgetown played without starting guard Austin Freeman, who sustained a hip pointer in practice on Monday. "He tried it in warmups but said he couldn't go," Thompson said.