NEW YORK (AP) — Shamorie Ponds scored 17 points and St. John’s snapped a six-year losing streak in the Big East Tournament with a 74-73 victory over Georgetown in the opening round Wednesday night.
The Red Storm (14-18) led for most of the second half but they didn’t have the win in hand until Georgetown’s L.J. Peak and Marcus Derrickson both missed shots in close and the buzzer sounded.
St. John’s will face top-seeded and second-ranked Villanova in Thursday’s quarterfinals.
Peak led the Hoyas (14-18) with 24 points, 22 in the second half. Rodney Pryor added 17 points.
With 8:35 to go in the game the clock turned back to the old Big East days of physical Georgetown-St. John’s games. Amar Alibegovic of St. John’s fouled Peak as he was taking a layup and a few of the players wound up in a scrum under the basket with some pushing and shoving.
It didn’t escalate too much but both coaches were on the court trying to keep players apart when St. John’s coach Chris Mullin was yelling at one of the Georgetown players.
Both benches were given technical fouls and Alibegovic was given a Flagrant 1 foul. Peak made one free throw to bring the Hoyas within 59-56. Georgetown got within a point three times but could never get the lead.
Georgetown: The Hoyas had a couple of Hall of Fame fans at the game. Former Georgetown coach John Thompson Jr. and former star Allen Iverson were both there. The Hoyas shot 45.8 percent (27 of 59) including 5 of 21 from 3-point range.
St. John’s: The Red Storm made five of their first 21 shots, something they did in their final game of the regular season. Against Providence, St. John’s made 4 of their first 21 shots from the field.
St. John’s faces Villanova in the quarterfinals on Thursday.
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