By:Marvin Chambers:|4.0 Sports Media
Madison Square Garden, NY-It had a old Big East feel to it when Georgetown head coach Patrick Ewing and head coach Chris Mullins chopped it at center court before their Big East game at The World Famous Arena. Both coaches were laughing and joking probably talking smack to each other and reminiscing on their battles back in the day.
The coaching names on the media guides has changed, but both programs are trying to reach the level of success that they reached during the 1980s when they were running up and the court. The Hoyas team is 11-4 overall and 1-3 in the Big East. Georgetown were hammered, 90-66, by Creighton over the weekend. St. John’s is 0-4 in the Big East and 10-6 overall. The Johnnies have played two home games in the Big East conference and lost those by a combined 39 points.
Big East royalty was present in the Garden, including former Syracuse guard and current Georgetown assistant coach Louis Orr and Mullin’s one-time college teammate and three-time NBA champion Bill Wennington, who also was in the crowd.
The Johnnies returns to the Garden for their classic matchup for the second contest of a three-game Big East homestand against Georgetown. St.John were trying to snap a four game slide (Providence (CA), Seton Hall, Creighton, Depaul), and hoping they could change their luck against the Hoyas.
Behind the shooting efforts Marcus Derrickson 17 points, Jessie Govan 18 points, and Jagan Mosely 13 points beat St.John 69-66 in a tough physical battle in front of a crowd of 9,406 at the Garden.
“It feels good. As you know, I’ve had a lot of great memories here,” Geogetown head coach Patrick Ewing said.
Shamorie Ponds led St. John’s, which lost its fifth straight game, with 17 points on 5-for-15 shooting, and Justin Simon had 16 points, 4 assists. Marvin Clark chipped in 15 points, 2 steals, and a team-high seven rebounds, and Tariq Owens had eight blocks. The Johnnies kept it close and it was tied 31-31 going into the break.
Geogetown had led by seven with less than five minutes remaining left in the contest, but Marvin Clark and Justin Simon got the Johnnies with a possession in the wanning seconds of the game. St. John’s grabbed the offensive board on its final possession after Ponds’s missed three-pointer as the horn sounded off.
There was so much nostalgia in the air and you felt it when you walked into the Garden. Patrick Ewing’s first as a head coach at the Garden, where his No. 33 New York Knicks jersey hangs in the rafters with other legends. It had an old Big East feel tonight as former St. John’s coach Lou Carnesecca looked on from the stands and former Seton Hall coach Bill Raftery worked on the broadcast team for Fox Sports.
On whether the atmosphere was nostalgic:
“A little bit. I think when you’ve played in a lot of games, the nostaglia becomes something you talk about before. However, when the game starts, you become concerned with the layups, getting rebounds, and stuff. There’s really not a lot of time for the stuff. When we finally got going, it got loud in here.” St.John’s head coach Chris Mullins said.