No. 12 Georgetown Holds Off St. John's 71-61

The Johnnies fought off the top-ranked team, but the Hoyas pulled off the win.

By Joseph White
|  Sunday, Feb 12, 2012  |  Updated 5:27 PM EDT
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Georgetown Beats St. John's

AP

St. John's, seen here with interim coach Mike Dunlap in a game against UConn, lost to Georgetown Sunday.

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Freshman forward Greg Whittington scored a career-high 12 points, and No. 12 Georgetown hit clutch 3-pointers down the stretch Sunday in a 71-61 win over St. John's.
 
Whittington, Jason Clark and Markel Starks all hit 3s in the final 6 minutes to counter the Red Storm's momentum in a game in which Georgetown never trailed -- but also never led by double digits until the final 5 seconds.

 
Clark, Starks, Otto Porter and Hollis Thompson also scored in double figures for the Hoyas (19-5, 9-4), who shot 61 percent in the second half to move into sole possession of fourth place in the Big East. Georgetown bounced back from an overtime loss at Syracuse on Wednesday.
 
D'Angelo Harrison scored 24 points, and Moe Harkless had 20 for the Red Storm (10-15, 4-9), who fell to a nation's-worst 0-10 against Top 25 teams. St. John's, which lost its previous two games by a combined 47 points, is 2-3 with its new "Fresh Five'' starting lineup featuring five freshmen.
 
Every time the Hoyas threatened to pull away, the Red Storm found a way to stay close. A 15-7 lead became 15-14 after a pair of dunks and a 3-pointer, and St. John's cut into a 31-26 halftime deficit by forcing a turnover and turning it into 2-on-1 break capped by an alley-oop from Amir Garrett to Harkless.
 
It got more interesting as Clark picked up three quick fouls in the first 3 minutes of the second half, including a technical, and Thompson got his third with 15:55 remaining and his fourth with 6:43 to play.
 
The Red Storm had back-to-back possessions with a chance to tie around the 8-minute mark, but Phil Greene missed a 3-pointer and then lost the ball to Clark, a turnover that was converted into a falling-down reverse layup by Thompson to make the score 49-44.
 
Whittington was also there to step up. He hit double figures for the first time as a college player with a 3-pointer that pushed the lead to six with 5:41 remaining. Also playing a big role was Nate Lubick, who blocked Harkless' shot at one end, then set up a three-point play by Clark to give the Hoyas a nine-point lead. 
 
Lubick finished with seven points, eight rebounds, five assists and a career-high four blocks.

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