Georgetown University’s Newspaper of Record since 1920

The Hoya

Georgetown University’s Newspaper of Record since 1920

The Hoya

Georgetown University’s Newspaper of Record since 1920

The Hoya

Georgetown Wilts at Garden

By Sean P. Flynn Hoya Staff Writer

NEW YORK, Jan. 10 – It’s become a regular occurrence: mistakes eliminating the Hoyas’ chances for winning. Against St. John’s at adison Square Garden, mistakes killed the men’s basketball team again. Georgetown committed 25 turnovers and made only 9 of 19 free-throw shots as the Red Storm beat the Hoyas, 75-66.

For the second straight season, the Hoyas have opened the Big East season with an 0-3 record – they didn’t win until their fifth league game last year – and their overall record fell to 8-6. St. John’s improved to 11-2, 3-0 in the Big East.

The Hoyas have lost three straight after a six-game winning streak over Christmas break.

Despite a 51-32 rebounding advantage, Georgetown’s error-prone play and the leadership of St. John’s sophomore guard Erick Barkley were the difference. Barkley scored 22 points, including 7 of 7 from the free-throw line, and had six assists in shutting down the Hoya defense despite strong pressure throughout his 39 minutes of playing time.

“I don’t know if there’s a better guard in the United States,” St. John’s Head Coach Mike Jarvis said.

The Hoyas managed to keep the game close until the end, but the same sloppy play, oftentimes on unforced errors, that has plagued Georgetown all season handed the win to the Red Storm.

“We didn’t attack them too much on the press,” Barkley said. “We just laid back and let them make mistakes.”

Along with the turnovers – including six by sophomore guard Kevin Braswell, four apiece by junior guard Anthony Perry and sophomore center Ruben Boumtje-Boumtje and three apiece by freshman forwards Victor Samnick and Courtland Freeman and senior center Jameel Watkins – one of the main culprits for Georgetown was the perpetual problem of foul shooting.

The Hoyas made 6 of 15 free throws during the last 12 minutes of the game, while the Red Storm, which entered the game with a 65.2 free-throw shooting percentage, made 16 of its last 19 shots from the line and finished 24 for 28 (85.7 percent).

“It killed us,” Georgetown Head Coach Craig Esherick said about the missed free throws. “Particularly during points of the game where missed free throws [by Georgetown] changed the momentum [in favor of St. John’s].

“There is no way we can win at the level that I want to win, the level I know the players want to win, unless we start making some shots. Defensively, we’re very good. We’ve got to do some work on offense – ball-handling, not rushing things in terms of shot selection.”

The main bright spot for the Georgetown offense was Braswell, who had team-highs with 18 points and six assists. But he also committed a team-high six turnovers. In three Big East games, Braswell has dished out 15 assists and committed 15 turnovers.

The 6-foot-11 Boumtje-Boumtje had 10 points and eight rebounds, yet he and the 6-foot-10 Watkins could not take advantage of the fact that St. John’s had no player over 6-foot-8. The two combined for seven turnovers and made 2 of 5 free throws. For St. John’s, 6-foot-6 starter Lavor Postell and 6-foot-8 reserve Donald Emanuel combined for only one turnover and made 11 of 12 free throw attempts.

Emanuel’s contribution came during the last two minutes and was particularly important in solidifying St. John’s victory. Already with four fouls, Emanuel reentered the game when starter Anthony Glover fouled out with three minutes remaining.

With 1 minute 45 seconds remaning, Emanuel was fouled by Boumtje-Boumtje on a layup and hit both free throws to give the Red Storm a six-point lead. After a Braswell three-pointer, Emanuel took a Barkley backdoor pass and dunked it. Then, after a Boumtje-Boumtje jumper, Emanuel responded again with a lay-in to give the Storm a seven-point lead with 40 seconds left.

In their third game in five days, the Hoyas did not seem winded at the open, jumping to a 9-2 lead in the first three minutes. St. John’s responded with 10 consecutive points to take the lead, but the game seesawed through nine lead changes.

Trailing by four points with 1.3 seconds left in the first half, Braswell sank a 40-foot jumper to send the Hoyas into the break trailing 32-31. But Barkley turned it up in the second half and the Hoyas could not capitalize on their chances.

After five days off, the Hoyas resume play against the Miami Hurricanes Saturday at the MCI Center.

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