Madison Square Garden-The Johnnies (10-5, 2-2) took the floor at “The World Famous Arena” on Sunday for just the second time of the season. St. John are now 1-1 at the Garden losing to Pitt on Dec. 18 in the Gotham Classic without forward Julian Champagnie.
St. John’s Julian Champagnie scored 25 points and Addae-Wusu chipped in 17 points with seven assists. Posh Alexander added 17 points, seven assists, six boards and he matched his career best with six steals to help the Johnnies beat Georgetown 88-69 at the Garden in front of a crowd of 5,161 with Spike Lee being one of them.
The Johnnies are now 435-305 all-time at “The Mecca” dating back to the 1930-31 season. SJU has played at least one game at the Garden every year since 1934-35. They are 5-6 at MSG under head coach Mike Anderson.
The Hoyas are 6-8 overall with a 0-3 mark in Big East action while the Johnnies improve to 10-5 with a 2-2 Big East record.
I thought we played pretty well. Offensively, the turnovers – we had 21, they scored 29 points – for any team, but especially St. John’s, you put yourself at a disadvantage.” – Assistant Coach Louis Orr
The Red Storm forced 21 turnovers, leading to 25 points, scored 14 points in transition, taking a 43-32 lead into the break.
In the opening minutes of the second half, Freshman Aminu Mohammed scored the first six points for Georgetown at (17:42).
Timothy Ighoefe slashed through two Johnnies defenders underneath the rim for a dunk before Rice’s three jump started a Hoyas 5-0 run at the 16:14 mark.
Dante Harris trimmed the Johnnies’ advantage with five unanswered points before another Rice three– that started the Hoyas on an 8-0 streak and pulled Georgetown to within 11 points, 65-54 (10:51) left in the game.
The Hoyas continued to chip away at the Johnnies lead, scoring seven unanswered points to cut its deficit to seven points (8:55), but Alexander and company dominated the paint down the stretch to seal the game.
“I’ll do whatever for my team to win,” said Alexander, who suffered a groin injury with 3:30 left in the win and didn’t return, but said he was fine afterwards. “I was just trying to be a leader out there.”
Kaiden Rice was the high man for the Hoyas (6-8, 0-3) with 19 points on 7-of-22 shooting. Mohammed chipped in 13 points and 12 rebounds for his sixth double-double. Dante Harris scored 13 with four assists.
“I’m proud of these guys here. I mean you look at what they bring to the table–of course, obviously Julian Champagnie-but even proud of the guys who came off the bench, Aaron Wheeler, O’Mar Stanley, everybody that went in contributed. So it was a good team win.” St. John’s head coach Mike Anderson said.
St. John’s will travel to Omaha, Neb to play Creighton on Wednesday, January 19 at 7 P.M.
Georgetown will head to Rhode Island to face Providence on Thursday, Jan. 20 at Dunkin’ Donuts Arena. Tipoff is scheduled for 5 P.M.