St. John's Holds Off Georgetown, 65-54

Feb. 13, 2017

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QUEENS, N.Y. - 
Behind strong games from Akina Wellere, Aaliyah Lewis and Jade Walker, the St. John’s women’s basketball held off a late push by Georgetown to come away with a 65-54 win over the Hoyas Sunday afternoon. 

“I thought we controlled the game for the better part of 40 minutes,” Head Coach Joe Tartamella said. “I thought we had a three-minute span where we struggled with their press, and obviously we need to do a better job … I thought we played hard, I thought we made big plays towards the end, which was what we’ve missed in the last few games that haven’t been successful, so I’m pleased with a lot of our efforts.”

Wellere, who had struggled from long distance over the past four games, found her rhythm early and seemed unstoppable at times. The sophomore finished with a team-high 19 points on 7-of-11 shooting. The Chicago, Ill., native entered the game just two for her last seven from behind the arc, but that didn’t stop her from letting it fly on Sunday as she connected on four of her six tries from deep.


 

 

“It was fun to watch her shoot it,” Tartamella added referring to Wellere. “You watch them come in transition and they drop it off for three, that’s fun to see. It’s exciting to watch them make those shots and it was exciting to see Akina shoot it with confidence.”

Lewis added 17 points, eight assists and three steals. The senior guard did most of her damage from the charity stripe, connecting on nine of her 16 attempts from the line. Those eight dimes bring Lewis’ season tally to 165, which are tied with Nadirah McKenith's 165 during the 2012-13 campaign for the seventh-most in a single season at St. John’s.

Walker was limited to just 26 minutes of action but still managed to chip in 14 points on 7-of-14 shooting from the floor. The senior also had six rebounds, one block and one steal. Jordan Agustus, who played a career-high 22 minutes, provided six points and three rebounds off the bench. The sophomore also rejected a pair of shots.

For the game, St. John’s (17-9, 9-6 BIG EAST) shot 51.1 percent from the floor, knocking down 24 of its 47 tries. Additionally, the Johnnies hit five of their nine attempts from three point territory and held Georgetown (15-9, 7-7 BIG EAST) without a made triple.

St. John’s was able to get out and run against the Hoyas, scoring 14 points on the fast break. The Red Storm also won the battle of the boards, grabbing 33 rebounds to Georgetown’s 28.

The Red Storm and Hoyas played a close opening quarter with no team leading by more than four points at any time. Throughout the opening 10 minutes, there were five ties and a pair of lead changes. Wellere led the offense with six first-quarter points after draining a pair of threes. With the Johnnies leading 18-16 with under a minute to play, Georgetown scored with 30 seconds on the clock to tie it at 18 entering the second quarter.

Early in the second, the Hoyas took a 22-20 lead just 1:25 into the period. From there, St. John’s went on a 17-0 run over the next 5:37 to take a 37-22 advantage with just over two minutes left in the half. The Johnnies held Georgetown to just six points in the second quarter on 3-of-14 shooting. On the other end, St. John’s shot 72.7 percent (8-for-11) from the floor. Walker had eight points in the second, while Wellere added six, giving the Johnnies a 37-24 edge at the break.

The Hoyas cut the St. John’s lead down to 12, 40-28 just under two minutes into the third, but the Johnnies responded with an 8-2 spurt to take their largest lead of the game at 18, 48-30, midway through the quarter. Wellere scored seven of her 19 points in the third while Lewis added four points and a pair of assists as St. John’s took a 53-39 lead into the final period.

In the fourth, the Johnnies struggled to hang on to the ball, turning it over six times over the final 10 minutes. Down 18 early in the period, the Hoyas went on a 10-0 run to make it an eight-point game, 57-49, with 5:34 left in the fourth. Later, Georgetown scored five unanswered points to cut the lead to five, 59-54, but St. John’s closed the game on a 6-0 run to come away with the win. Lewis scored six points in the final 10 minutes, while Walker chipped in four.

Following a brief two-game homestand, the Johnnies are back on the road next week for their final two road games of the regular season, starting with Providence on Friday. The first tip is scheduled for 7 p.m. from Alumni Hall on the BIG EAST Digital Network.

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