Wednesday night at Madison Square Garden, in the process of running roughshod over Georgetown for the final 20 minutes, the Red Storm looked like a team capable of pulling off some March magic.
After a sloppy opening 20 minutes, the eighth-seeded Johnnies resembled the team that finished the regular season strong after an 11-game losing streak, outclassing ninth-seeded Georgetown, 88-77, to start the Big East Tournament at the Garden, and give Chris Mullin his first victory over old rival and close friend Patrick Ewing in three meetings.
St. John’s (16-16) advanced to meet the top seed, Xavier, Thursday at noon, the third-ranked team in the country it nearly upset twice, losing by a combined 11 points.
The Red Storm have won six of their past nine games after starting the league season 0-11, defeating the likes of No.
After a defense-optional first half in which the Hoyas shot 51 percent from the field and led by six, St. John’s got back to basics, and frustrated Georgetown with its quickness, activity and fast hands.
An 11-2 run, fueled by Ponds and Simon, gave St. John’s a 67-59 lead with 9:17 left.
Five consecutive points from Clark pushed the lead to double figures with 4:42 remaining.
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