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St. John’s tops Georgetown after Rick Pitino criticized team

WASHINGTON — After three days of Rick Pitino’s critical comments in the news cycle, St. John’s University has made headlines of its own.

I won the basketball game.

It wasn’t very beautiful. There was an ugly turn of events to end the first half. But it was a win, and it had to feel good for a team that had just two wins in the past five weeks.

Rick Pitino and St. John’s defeated Georgetown on Wednesday night. Noah K. Murray – New York State Post

If the Red Storm players harbored any animosity toward Pitino after Pitino called this year “the least enjoyable experience of my life,” they didn’t show it.

They got off to a very good start, avoiding last month’s late collapse with a 90-85 win over Big East punching bag Georgetown at Capitol One Arena.

St. John’s (15-12, 7-9) has lost eight of its past 10 games, with its last four losses coming from a halftime lead.

It was too late to approach.

Georgetown was within three points with 43.8 seconds left, but St. John’s beat the press and RJ Lewis hit a huge slam.

Jordan Dingle made a layup in St. John’s win over Georgetown on Wednesday. Provided by St. John’s Athletics

Joel Soriano also made two free throws, and the Johnnies ended their losing streak at three.

Jordan Dingle scored nine points, the first for the Johnnys, and led five players to score in double figures with 22 points.

For Georgetown, Lewis had 19 points, Danis Jenkins added 15 points and Jaden Epps had 31 points.

St. John’s treated Georgetown like a punching bag for much of the first half.

He made 15 of his first 21 shots. They held a 21 point lead. Then, like everything else these days, everything went awry in a hurry.

Bullets stopped falling.

The defense collapsed.

Georgetown went on an 18-4 run, while the Johnnies missed 10 of 11 shots and were held scoreless until 2:33 of the first half.

They still trailed by seven points at the break, but they should have been better considering they shot 50 percent from the field and were plus-9 on the glass.

Danis Jenkins hit a jump shot in St. John’s win over Georgetown on Wednesday. Provided by St. John’s Athletics

Through the final 5:32 of the first half, St. John’s didn’t make a single shot and committed three turnovers, two by Jenkins.

Jenkins and Dingle scored 20 points on 8-of-13 shooting in the first half, and Joel Soriano had eight points and eight rebounds.

RJ Lewis drilled the ball for St. John’s against DePaul on Wednesday. Provided by St. John’s Athletics

Georgetown scored the first three points of the second half and looked like many of St. John’s recent games.

But Dingle scored on consecutive possessions to calm the Johnnies, and freshman Simeon Wilcher provided a spark off the bench, scoring seven points in the final few minutes of the second half.

He spearheaded a 12-2 run that gave St. John’s a 17-point lead.

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