NEW YORK - The eighth-seeded Georgetown University men's basketball team could not hold on as the ninth-seeded St. John's University Red Storm upset the Hoyas, 88-77, in the first round of the 2018 BIG EAST Men's Basketball Tournament presented by Jeep. Junior center Jessie Govan (Queens Village, N.Y./Wings Academy) and junior forward Marcus Derrickson (Bowie, Md./Brewster Academy [N.H.]) combined for 48 points on the night as Govan tallied his 15th double-double of the season.
"I'm very disappointed," Head Coach Patrick Ewing said after the game. "But, you know, it's hard to beat a quality team like St. John's three-straight times. You know, they have a lot of talent on their team. They're very well-coached. And you have to be able to play your A game if you want to beat them. And as you can see in the stat sheet, we didn't bring our A game. You know, Jessie and Marcus, they played, based on their stat sheet, they brought their A game, but no one else really stepped up. And we need, for us to beat that team, everyone has to pull their load and we didn't get that done tonight."
Govan and Derrickson were the lone Hoyas in double figures as Govan tallied 28 to lead all scorers while Derrickson chipped in 20. Govan's 11 rebounds led the squad for his 15th double-double of the season. Derrickson added eight boards of his own and the duo each tallied a pair of assists while Govan added two steals. Senior guard Jonathan Mulmore (New Orleans, La./Redemption Christian [Texas]/Allegany) paced the offense with four assists.
Georgetown was held to 38.7 percent shooting for the game but held the advantage in rebounds, 39-33.
Govan was the first on the board as he followed up a jumper with a pair of free throws for the Blue & Gray to take the 4-0 advantage. Derrickson and Govan both knocked down 3-pointers as the Hoyas pushed the lead to 10-2 at 16:01. St. John's cut the lead to three but another Derrickson triple put the Blue & Gray ahead, 13-7. SJU made it a one-point game on a traditional three-point play, but on the other end, sophomore guard Jagan Mosely (Marlboro, N.J./St. Anthony) threw down a dunk as the Hoyas extended the lead to 17-14.
Both teams traded points but a dunk from freshman Antwan Walker (Washington, D.C./Hargrave Military Academy) followed by another Govan jumper put GU up, 22-16. Another pair of free throws for Govan sparked an 8-2 spurt, bolstered by treys from Mulmore and Walker, as GU held a 10-point advantage, 30-20. The Johnnies tallied eight unanswered to cut the deficit to two but Mulmore's free throw ended the Hoya scoring drought.
SJU took a one-point lead, 32-31, but Derrickson's triple gave the advantage right back to the Blue & Gray, 34-32 with 3:19 left in the frame. With 2:47 on the clock, Govan went up for the layup, drew the foul and completed the three-point play. Dickerson's triple capped a 9-0 run down the stretch as Georgetown led 40-32. In the final 1:33 of the frame, the Hoyas outscored the Red Storm, 8-6, behind five from Govan and a trey from Derrickson. GU went into the break with the 48-42 advantage.
St. John's opened the scoring in the second half with a quick five points, but a pair of Govan buckets made it a two-possession game as GU led, 52-47. However, SJU tallied seven unanswered to take the 54-52 advantage. Derrickson came up with the answer as he knocked down his fifth 3-pointer of the evening for GU to regain the lead, 55-54. The game would go back and forth but a conventional three-point play gave the Red Storm the 59-57 edge.
A Dickerson layup tied the game but SJU tallied eight-straight points to prompt the GU timeout, trailing 67-59 with 9:13 remaining. Another Derrickson triple ended the run and pulled the Hoyas within five, 67-62. Both teams would trade points but the Blue & Gray could only pull within five, 73-68, late in the game. SJU held on for the 88-77 victory.
St. John's shot 53.4 percent for the game. Shamorie Ponds led the Red Storm with 26 points.