WASHINGTON, D.C. — In a game featuring 12 ties and 16 lead changes, Georgetown coach Patrick Ewing couldn’t help but remember his college days when he was routinely facing off against Chris Mullin and St. John’s when they were players. The two coaches returned to their respective alma maters a year apart after both programs went through recent struggles.
“[Georgetown] has had wars against [St. John’s],” Ewing said. “I’m just happy that we were able to come out on the winning end of this. It’s funny, Chris and I were kind of joking around a bit about it at half-court. I’m out there sweating and he’s out there sweating. It’s like we’re physically out there playing.”
The Hoyas were finally able to finish off the Red Storm, 93-89, in what turned into a battle of wills in the double overtime contest. The victory also completed Georgetown’s sweep of Mullin and St. John’s. Marcus Derrickson scored 27 points and grab 11 rebounds to lead the way for Georgetown. Shamorie Ponds led all scorers with 33 points, his third 30-point outing of the season.
“It was a great game for both schools, ” Ewing said. “Both teams played their hearts out; gave all the effort and energy that they could. … We made the plays we needed to make down the stretch to secure the win.”
With Jessie Govan battling foul trouble throughout the contest, the Hoyas leaned heavily on contributions from freshmen Jahvon Blair and Jamorko Pickett, as well as Derrickson, the junior. It was just what the doctor ordered for Pickett, who has been in and out of the starting lineup at points this season. Ewing attributed the career-high marks to Pickett, regaining confidence in himself, which helped boost his effort, and added the freshmen are starting to show signs of maturity.
“We’ve been getting on Jamorko and Jahvon all year,” Mosley added. “We need them to score, especially in games like this when we have one of our best scorers in foul trouble.”
It seemed like confidence and belief were the key words of the day, as Derrickson preached post-game about the belief his teammates and coaching staff had in him despite having such a rough time converting buckets. Even with the fatigue setting in and frustration of silly mistakes and missing makeable shots, the confidence the Hoyas have in Derrickson helped the junior get over the hump and score 16 of his career high 27 in both overtimes.
“Tonight, it definitely helped,” Derrickson said. “My teammates was talking to me like, ‘Yeah, man, you got this. You got this. You can make these shots.’ I was just having an off night today. I tried everything I could, coach just kept throwing me the ball, [saying], ‘Just stay patient. Calm down. You got it.’ ”
After his potential game-winning shot fell short in regulation, Derrickson took control in overtime. After scoring four quick points, Derrickson would misfired on a pair of late free throws that led to a mini 5-0 run by the Red Storm to put them ahead, 78-73. The Hoyas responded when Derrickson got fouled on a 3-point attempt and sank all three free throws to shrink the deficit to two points. Derrickson subsequently tied the game in overtime with a 3-pointer off a dish from Mosley (12 points, seven assists). During the second extra session, the Hoyas went on a 10-3 run that gave them their largest lead of the night, 89-82, late in the second overtime. Mosley and Derrickson both sank a pair of free throws to ice the game away for good.
“We was using the Syracuse and Butler game as motivation,” Derrickson said. “Was just like we don’t want to have another outcome like that. So we just fought hard to the end and we’re luck to come out with the W.”