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Hoyas drop below .500 thanks to 86-80 loss to St. John's

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USA Today Sports

Hoyas drop below .500 thanks to 86-80 loss to St. John's

NEW YORK -- Shamorie Ponds scored 24 points on 10-of-15 shooting to become the third freshman in St. John's history to score 500 points in a season, and the Red Storm rallied to beat Georgetown 86-80 on Saturday to end a two-game skid.

Bashir Ahmed and Frederico Mussini scored 16 apiece for St. John's (13-16, 7-9 Big East), which was outrebounded 36-29 but scored 25 points off 22 Georgetown turnovers.

Ahmed's 3-pointer put St. John's up by seven, 48-41, early in the second half. Georgetown closed to within a point four times but the Red Storm found answers and led by nine, 76-67, on Amar Alibegovic's dunk with 2:14 left. Georgetown scored six straight and closed to 78-77, then to 82-80 on L.J. Peak's 3-point play with 25 seconds left. Marcus Lovett and Malik Ellison each hit two from the line and St. John's held on.

Mussini scored 11 in a 17-0 St. John's run for a 29-18 lead, but Georgetown rallied with a 17-0 run and led 36-35 at halftime.

Rodney Pryor scored 22 points with five 3-pointers and Peak added 20 for Georgetown (14-15, 5-11), which has lost three straight.

Georgetown gets a boost with Jessie Govan returning to school

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Georgetown gets a boost with Jessie Govan returning to school

After testing the NBA Draft waters, Georgetown center Jessie Govan decided to return to the Hoyas for his senior season.

Govan announced his intention to return on Instagram a week before the final commitment deadline.

Returning to the Hoyas is definitely a boost to the program that will be in their second year under head coach Patrick Ewing.  At 6-10, Govan was the team’s leading scorer (17.9 ppg) and rebounder (10.0 rpg) averaging a double-double last season.

Paired alongside power forward Marcus Derrickson, the Hoyas were nearly unstoppable in the paint. Derrickson though decided to forgo his senior year and signed with an agent after the season.

Had Govan decided to leave that would have meant over 56 percent of the team’s scoring and rebounding would have departed (to graduation or professional pursuits) in a handful of months. Not the best outlook for a 15-win team that went 5-13 in the Big East.

Instead Ewing gets back his leading scorer that many believe he can mold as a young protégée. While in the draft process without an agent Govan had workouts with the Boston Celtics and the New York Knicks. Both are valuable experiences that he will bring to a relatively young Georgetown squad.

Having Govan for one more year will bridge Ewing’s second season to transfer big-man, Omer Yurtseven to his first year of eligibility in 2019. They were set up to having a walk-on and two sophomores being the only returning Hoyas over 6-6 for the upcoming season.

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Future NBA prospect Omer Yurtseven transfers to Georgetown from NC State

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Future NBA prospect Omer Yurtseven transfers to Georgetown from NC State

The pieces are starting to come together for Patrick Ewing.

On Monday the Georgetown Hoyas picked up perhaps the biggest (literally and figuratively) target of the transfer market, Omer Yurtseven.

From North Carolina State, the transfer from Istanbul Turkey will have two years remaining of eligibility. Due to NCAA transfer rules, he is not allowed to play for the 2018-19 season.

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Standing at 7-0, the center helped power the Wolfpack to an NCAA tournament bid this past season. Averaging 13.5 points, 6.7 rebounds, and 1.8 blocks a contest, Yurstseven earned All-ACC Third Team honors in the 2017-18 season. He also touted a 58.3 shooting percentage and was not afraid to pull it up from deep either (22 made three-pointers).

NC State lost in the first round of the NCAA Tournament to No. 8 Seton Hall, but he was limited due to foul trouble with only two points and two rebounds in 14 minutes of play.

Initially, he is the option to fill the void that Jessie Govan will leave, whether that is during this offseason or next. Already the team has lost power forward Marcus Derrickson

Yurtseven will just be another frontcourt talent for Ewing with the Hoyas.

It was widely reported that he was considering playing options, both in the United States and abroad before this announcement. Easily he has the talent to go in first round of the NBA Draft whichever year he declares.

On the same day, the Hoyas also announced the signing of four-star guard James Akinjo.