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St. John's misfires often in big loss to Georgetown

Jan 31, 2008 - 6:22 AM NEW YORK (Ticker) -- St. John's learned firsthand why Georgetown is one of the top defensive teams in the nation.

Vernon Macklin scored a career-high 18 points as the sixth-ranked Hoyas put the clamps on the Red Storm en route to a 74-42 Big East Conference rout on Wednesday.

While Georgetown (17-2, 7-1 Big East) won for the ninth time in 10 games, the real story was the offensive ineptitude of St. John's throughout the contest.

"Give Georgetown a lot of credit. They are a good team," St. John's coach Norm Roberts said. "They played very well and they made shots. We didn't play very well. It is not the kids fault, it's my fault. I take full blame for the way we played."

Entering the matchup with a five-game losing streak, the Red Storm missed their first 11 shots from the field and committed 13 first-half turnovers as they fell behind, 41-14, at the break.

Georgetown came in having limited opponents to 35.8 percent shooting.

Despite getting just seven minutes in the opening half from leading scorer Roy Hibbert, the Hoyas scored 18 of the first 20 points and led, 27-3, after Jessie Sapp's 3-pointer capped a 9-0 run with 7:38 remaining.

St. John's (7-12, 1-7), which lost to Georgetown for the fourth straight time and sixth in eight meetings, did not collect its first field goal until a jumper by freshman Justin Burrell with 4:25 left.

"I think we get frustrated when we miss a couple of shots," Roberts said. "We have to be more patient and not let ourselves get frustrated like that. Georgetown can do that to you."

The Red Storm managed to shoot just 2-of-16 from the field in the first half but did convert 10-of-13 free throws to avoid the Big East record for fewest points in a half of 11, set by Providence against Connecticut in 2002.

"I think our guys were extremely attentive tonight in terms of helping each other and understanding what they were trying to accomplish," Georgetown coach John Thompson III said. "I thought our guys did a terrific job of communicating and helping each other and St. John's had some unfortunate bounces."

The intermission did very little in allowing St. John's to regroup, as Georgetown scored the first 12 points after the break, opening a 53-14 lead on a dunk by Patrick Ewing Jr. with five minutes expired.

The Hoyas led comfortably throughout the rest of the contest, with seldom-used reserve Bryon Jansen connecting on a 3-pointer in the closing moments. That basket proved significant for the Red Storm, as the 32-point margin tied for their largest defeat in Big East play.

This was another in a series of lopsided wins in the series for Georgetown, which came into the matchup winning the last three meetings by a average of 20 points. The Hoyas ended up improving to 5-1 against the Red Storm under Thompson.

Burrell and Anthony Mason Jr. scored nine points apiece for St. John's, which finished 10-of-47 (21 percent) from the field - including 1-of-14 on 3-pointers.

The Red Storm's leading scorer at 14.7 points coming in, Mason shot just 3-of-12 and missed all four of his attempts from the arc.

"Georgetown defense did a lot of switching on me and setting up screens," Mason said. "No, I won't give coach total blame. We are the ones on that are playing. I have to do better for this team in order for us to win."

St. John's finished with 19 turnovers, which Georgetown turned into 15 points.

A 6-9 forward who was making his first start of the season in place of DaJuan Summers, Macklin took full advantage of the rare chance, shooting 8-of-10 from the field and blocking two shots.

"Obviously he put points on the board," Thompson said. "It was one of those situations that we found out this afternoon, that DaJuan Summers was not playing tonight. What he did out there was not a surprise."

On the season, the sophomore leads the Hoyas in field goal percentage at 65.5 percent (38-of-58).

Hibbert scored 11 points and Sapp chipped in 10 for Georgetown, which shot 53 percent (28-of-53).

    --- --- -----
    GEORGETOWN (6) 41 30 71
    ST JOHNS 14 28 42 FINAL

    Jan 30 9:03 PM


    Jan 30 7:57 PM
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    Georgetown(6) vs. St. John'sJan 30 12:57 PM