NEW YORK - With the score tied and 25 seconds left in regulation, junior center Jessie Govan (Queens Village, N.Y./Wings Academy) hit the game-winning 3-pointer as the Georgetown men's basketball team defeated the St. John's University Red Storm, 69-66, at Madison Square Garden. With the win, the Hoyas improve to 12-4 overall with a 2-3 record in BIG EAST Conference play. The game marked Head Coach Patrick Ewing's return to Madison Square Garden, his NBA home for 15 seasons with the New York Knicks.
"It was good to be back and the game was like old times," Ewing said. "It was a knockout, drag out fight. The guys fought hard. We made mistakes but we played hard. After the way we lost to Creighton, it was a great way to bounce back."
Govan tallied his 11th double-double of the season with team bests of 18 points and 13 rebounds. Junior forward Marcus Derrickson (Bowie, Md./Brewster Academy [N.H.]) added 17 points to go along with eight boards and three steals. Sophomore guard Jagan Mosely (Marlboro, N.J./St. Anthony) rounded out those in double figures as he chipped in 13 points to go with a team-leading five assists.
For the game, Georgetown shot 33.3 percent from the field and had balanced scoring as 23 points came from the bench to SJU's 10. The Hoyas outrebounded the Red Storm, 49-34.
St. John's (10-7, 0-5 BIG EAST) was the first on the board as both teams traded layups to open the game. With the game tied at six, Govan dished it to Derrickson for the layup to take the 8-6 lead and a 3-pointer from senior guard Jonathan Mulmore (New Orleans, La./Redemption Christian [Texas]/Allegany) gave GU the five-point edge, 11-6. However, St. John's tallied the next six points to regain the lead, 12-11, but a Govan jumper ended the run and put the Hoyas back on top.
With the score tied at 21, Georgetown fell behind again as SJU scored five-straight points, draining a 3-pointer and hitting a pair of free throws. Derrickson cut the deficit to two, 26-24, with a 3-pointer of his own with 4:32 on the clock. However, the Red Storm staged a 5-1 run to take a 31-27 lead. Freshman guard Jahvon Blair's (Brampton, Ont./Athlete Institute Prep) jumper followed by a pair of free throws made it a one-possession game as GU trailed, 31-29, with less than a minute to play in the first half.
On Georgetown's final possession of the half, Derrickson grabbed the offensive rebound and floated in the tying layup as the Hoyas and Red Storm went into the break tied at 31.
At the start of the second stanza, the Red Storm was the first on the board once again, but Govan answered right back with a layup of his own. As the game went back and forth, it was the trey from Mosely that gave GU the 38-37 edge, its first lead since 12:35 in the first half. A Blair 3-pointer prompted SJU to call a timeout as the Hoyas took a 41-37 lead.
Both teams went scoreless for more than four minutes with St. John's ending the drought to pull within two, 41-39, with 11:24 left in the frame. The Hoyas continued to be solid from the charity stripe, but an SJU trey cut the lead to one, 43-42. However, the Hoyas went on a 9-3 run with six points credited to Derrickson, to take a 52-45 advantage.
An SJU dunk tied the game at 57 and brought the crowd to its feet but on the other end Govan's floater dropped in the basket and he converted the three-point play to give the lead right back to the Blue & Gray. A steal from Johnson led to the Mosely dunk, capping five-straight points for the Hoyas. However, SJU was persistent and tied the game at 64 with less than a minute left in regulation.
Govan's game-winning trey gave the Hoyas the 67-64 advantage with 25 seconds remaining. SJU pulled within one, 67-66, but Mulmore hit a pair of clutch free throws down the stretch to close out the 69-66 win.
Georgetown held St. John's to 37.7 percent shooting with Shamorie Ponds leading the way for the Red Storm with 17 points.
The Hoyas will continue on their two-game road swing, traveling to Newark, New Jersey on Saturday, Jan. 13, to take on the No. 13/15 Seton Hall University Pirates at the Prudential Center. Tipoff is scheduled for noon and the game can be seen live on FS1 with Brian Custer calling the play-by-play and Sarah Kustok providing color analysis. The game can be heard locally on WJFK 106.7 FM with Rich Chvotkin handling the call.