Story By: Richard Thomas
Photos By: Sol Tucker
After today’s finish by the Hoyas and Red Storm, it might be safe to say that the old rivalry could be renewed between these two teams after a wild finish in regulation and another wild end in overtime, where the Red Storm would emerge victorious after several last ditch efforts by the Hoyas fell short in the final seconds.
The Red Storm’s win marked the program’s first against Georgetown in the nation’s capital since Jan. 18, 2003. The Johnnies had lost 13-straight against the Hoyas in Washington since that last victory, which featured 34 points from Marcus Hatten.
Today the team coached by Chris Mullin is much different than previous teams and with an effort by Shomarie Ponds, that included 37 points, they are now a team to pay attention to in the Big East and now sit at 14-1 after their victory today.
With time ticking down in regulation, the Red Storm trailed Georgetown by four and only 28 seconds left to play. Ponds nailed a pair of free throws before LJ Figueroa came up with a steal on the ensuing defensive possession. The former junior college All-American was then fouled and hit two free throws of his own to knot the score at 85. The Johnnies subsequently registered one final stop to force overtime.
The Red Storm carried that momentum into the extra period, opening on a 9-1 run and leading by as many as eight before holding off a late Georgetown push that made it a one possession game with less than 30 seconds to go. Figueroa and Justin Simon kicked off overtime with alley-oops to one another on consecutive offensive possessions.
“We played as hard as we could to end the game,” said Hoyas Head Coach Patrick Ewing Jr. “We had a few good looks at the basket, but we just could not find a way to hit the three to force another overtime.”
“We’ve got to learn how to close out games,” Ewing said.
He made slight alterations in his choice of words in hammering home the point later, but the message was clear: His team should have secured victory in regulation before the Red Storm seized on the fortuitous opportunity in the extra period.
“We can’t keep making the mental mistakes that we do,” he added.