Hoyas Win Big East Opener

Robert P. Stephens II | 1/1/2010, 10:32 p.m.

Georgetown's point guard Chris Wright's 21 points and 4 assist lead Hoyas to a 66-59 win over St. John's. Photo by Wallace Barron.
The Georgetown Hoyas, ranked no. 13 in the country, held off a pesky St. John's team to secure a 66-59 victory and win their Big East Conference opener on Thur., Dec. 31. The Hoyas outscored the New York visitors 10-3 in the final two minutes. The Hoyas improved their record to 10-1. St. John's dropped to 10-3.

€It's the Big East and they [St. John's] are a veteran team,€ said Hoya€s head coach John Thompson III. €We were always attacking on offense and that I liked that.€

Junior guard Chris Wright led the Hoyas in scoring the first half with 14 of the team's 32 points. The Hoyas shot 48 percent from the floor and 57 percent from the three point line. Junior guard Austin Freeman chipped in with seven points as the Hoyas took a five point lead into the half.St. John's shot 45 percent from the floor the first half but only 33 percent from the three point line. They were led in scoring by junior DJ Kennedy with seven points.

In the second half, St. John's took the role as spoiler. In what was a reversal of the first half, the Red Storm shot six three-pointers, while the Hoyas failed to connect from the tree point line.

€It was a terrific Big East game we had to fight the whole game,€ said Storm head coach Norm Roberts.

The Hoyas committed several turnovers which allowed the Red Storm to stay in it.

€Our group is getting better in tight situations. We are looking for each other,€ Thompson said.

St. John's took a 54-53 lead with 8:38 to go on a three-point play by junior guard Dwight Hardy. It was then that Hoyas defense came alive, shutting down the Storm's offensive attack.

Sophomore Greg Monroe and Junior Julian Vaughn dominated the boards in the latter minutes of the second half while contesting the Storm's shots.

€He [Vaughn) made some big plays for us at the end,€ Monroe said.

Chris Wright led the Hoyas in scoring with 21 points and four assists.

€He has a better understanding of when it€s time to go. He's now a junior,€ Thompson said.

Monroe finished his night's work with 15 points, eight rebounds and five assists. Austin Freeman scored 15 points. Vaughn led the Hoyas in rebounding with nine while scoring eight points, and Jason Clark finished with seven points.

The Red Storm was led in scoring by junior Dwight Hardy who finished with 14 points. Georgetown will host Connecticut on Sat., Jan. 9 with the tip off set for 12 noon.