Is your college basketball team struggling? Are the losses piling up? Is the NCAA Tournament bubble starting to fade into the distance? Then it sounds like your guys need a matchup with the St. John's Red Storm!
No such advertisement exits, but Big East teams have received much needed help when facing the Chris Mullin coached squad this season. With a season-high three-game losing streak and its overall record veering dangerously close into no postseason territory, Georgetown found a winning formula against the team everyone beats.
D'Vauntes Smith-Rivera had 24 points, Isaac Copeland continued his scoring surge with 23 points and L.J. Peak added 20 as Georgetown dominated throughout for a 92-67 romp over St. John's at Verizon Center.
The Hoyas (14-11, 7-5 Big East) shot 54.2 percent from the field, sank 10 of 22 3-pointers and won the rebounding battle 39-27. Georgetown never trailed against last place St. John's (7-18, 0-12), losers of 15 straight games, and led by as many as 28 points.
St. John's, which last won Dec. 13 against Syracuse, entered last in scoring defense (81.2) and ninth in scoring offense (66.5) in conference games. They lived up to the hype. Plenty of quality scoring chances existed near and far for Georgetown. The Hoyas capitalized after shooting 33.9 percent in Saturday's 69-61 loss at Seton Hall.
The win won't improve the Hoyas' March Madness status, but a loss would have essentially ended dreams of at-large consideration into the NCAA Tournament. Instead Georgetown ended any drama with an 18-8 start and 48-32 halftime lead.
Christian Jones led the rebuilding Red Storm with 14 points.
Smith-Rivera scored 33 in the first meeting against the Red Storm as Georgetown rolled 93-73 on Jan. 13 at Madison Square Garden.
No overt statistical thread connected losses to Providence, Butler and Seton Hall. Georgetown simply couldn't find success in one area without some other issue developing. Against St John's every component worked early and often.
Copeland grabbed eight rebounds, made 8 of 11 shots and scored in double figures for the third straight game after doing so once in the previous eight. Peak hit 9 of 14.
The Hoyas made their first four 3-point attempts. Copeland hit the Hoyas' seventh and final 3-pointer before halftime, giving Georgetown its largest lead at 46-26.
The biggest concern coming out of the game involves Marcus Derrickson. The freshman forward fell hard to the court while contesting a shot. He needed assistance leaving the court and did not return.
With season series against St. John's and DePaul completed, Georgetown now faces one challenge after another over its remaining six regular season games starting with Saturday's tilt at No. 17 Providence (12 p.m.). We'll see if any momentum carries over or if facing St. John's was just a quick fix.
* Georgetown last had three players with at least 20 points in the same game Nov. 30, 2010 as Austin Freeman, Chris Wright and Jason Clark scored often in a 111-102 overtime win at Missouri.
* Nobody confused Peak with a 3-point shooting last season. It's not just that he finished with a dismal 24.6 percent clip (17 of 69), but his form and rotation looked worse. What a difference a year makes. After hitting 2 of 4, Peak improved to 40 percent (24 of 60) this season and 45.4 percent (15 of 33) in Big East play.
* Of the remaining six games, five matchups are against projected NCAA Tournament teams. The lone exception, at Marquette.
* Georgetown coach John Thompson III stopped tinkering with his starting lineup after sending out a different five for each of the previous three games. Don't expect another change based on the overall result.
* Guard Tre Campbell remained with the starters despite three straight scoreless appearances covering 52 minutes and only 10 points since a career-high 21 in the Jan. 19 win at Xavier. The sophomore once again failed to score, missing both of his field goal attempts in 15 minutes.
* St. John's leads the all-time series (55-50), but Georgetown has taken nine of the last 10 meetings.