Adam Zagoria covers basketball at all levels. He is the author of two books and an award-winning journalist whose articles have appeared in ESPN The Magazine, SLAM, Sheridan Hoops, Sports Illustrated, Basketball Times and in newspapers nationwide.
NEW YORK — Despite playing without second-leading scorer Greg Whittington and coming off their worst home lost since 1971, No. 19 Georgetown just hammered St. John’s, 67-51, Saturday afternoon at Madison Square Garden.
The Hoyas (11-3, 1-2 Big East) were coming off a 28-point home loss to Pittsburgh and managed to avoid their first 0-3 Big East start 1998-99.
“It was a dominating performance by Georgetown,” said St. John’s coach Steve Lavin, whose team dropped to 9-7, 1-3 in the Big East with No. 17 Notre Dame visiting Tuesday. “They took us to the woodshed in all aspects of the game.”
He added: “Woodshed, got waxed, I don’t know how many different ways I can say it.”
Georgetown, which led 36-19 at the break of a game that began at 11 a.m., got a strong performance from Otto Porter, who had 19 points and 14 rebounds. Markel Starks scored 17 points and Nate Lubick had 11 points and six rebounds.
The 6-foot-8 Whittington had started all 13 games and is second on the team in scoring (12.1) and rebounding (7.0).
Georgetown coach John Thompson III was asked if he had any idea when the player might return from the suspension for a violation of team rules.
“No,” he said. “I don’t.”
St. John’s sophomore guard D’Angelo Harrison entered averaging 21.5 points but was held to seven points on 3-of-12 shooting.
Jamal Branch led St. John’s with 16 points, JaKarr Sampson had 12 points and seven rebounds and Sir’Dominic Pointer added 11 points.
“We are very embarrassed about this,” Pointer said.
Chris Obekpa’s six blocks gave him 82 for the season, breaking the tie with Walter Berry for the St. John’s season record of 76.
St. John’s looked nothing like the team which won at then-No. 14 Cincinnati last week, or even like the one that lost a tight two-point game to Rutgers on the Garden floor Wednesday.
“Nothing will surprise me because we play in the Big East and every day we’re surprised by the scores,” Lavin said.
(The AP contributed reporting, photo)
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Adam Zagoria is a New York Times contributor and Basketball Insider who covers basketball at all levels. He is the author of two books and is an award-winning journalist and filmmaker whose articles have appeared in ESPN The Magazine, SLAM, Sheridan Hoops, Sports Illustrated, Basketball Times and in newspapers nationwide. He also won an Emmy award for his work on the SNY mini-documentary on Syracuse guard Tyus Battle.
A veteran Ultimate Frisbee player, he has competed in numerous National and World Championships and, perhaps more importantly, his teams won the Westchester Summer League (WSL) championships in 2011 and 2013.
He lives in Manhattan with his wife and children.