NEW YORK – For one night, it seemed like Darrel Owens was unstoppable.

The fifth-year swingman drained three-pointers left and right, some from NBA range and others with a hand in his face. St. John’s defenders seemed powerless to stop Owens as he lit up the scoreboard with 24 points, going 6-of-8 from three-point range, in the Hoyas’ 79-65 win over the Red Storm Sunday night at adison Square Garden.

“He likes to put the ball up,” Head Coach John Thompson III said of Owens. “Every once in a while it goes in – like it did tonight.”

Owens came up big when his team needed him. Down by one point late in the first half, he and senior forward Brandon Bowman traded threes on four straight possessions. As junior Amadou Kilkenny-Diaw, who saw 16 minutes, and freshman Marc Egerson added baskets of their own, Georgetown took a 43-34 edge into the locker room.

When St. John’s clawed its way back into the game early in the second half, tying the score at 52, Owens nailed another three, putting the Hoyas up for good.

And later in the second, when his team had opened up an eight-point lead, Owens connected on a layup and laid down two more threes to seal the double-digit victory.

St. John’s Head Coach Norm Roberts said the Hoyas “did a good job of getting him [Owens] the basketball.”

“It’s very hard to take the ball out of one guy’s hands. They [the Hoyas] spread you out so much . they did a good job of being patient and getting the shot they want.”

Both teams shot almost 60 percent from the floor but the difference came in three-point territory. Georgetown went 12-of-21 from beyond the arc, while St. John’s made four out of 11 attempts.

Bowman and sophomore forward Jeff Green contributed 16 and 11 points respectively. Sophomore center Roy Hibbert only had four points in eight minutes, but that was because of the success Kilkenny-Diaw was having on the defensive end.

“We were going through a stretch there where we couldn’t stop them,” Thompson said of the early second half, when the Red Storm erased their halftime deficit. “When we put Amadou in there, all of a sudden our interior defense got much better.”

From the outset, it looked like it would be another big game for senior guard Ashanti Cook, who scored his team’s first seven points. But St. John’s adjusted and Cook would add only two more points during the next 35 minutes.

After 10 minutes of play, the game was knotted at 14. The Hoyas managed to take a small lead thanks to foul trouble for the Red Storm, who tallied their seventh team foul at 9:11. Hibbert, Egerson, sophomore Jon Wallace and Bowman knocked down eight free throws on eight attempts.

St. John’s stole back the lead as freshman forward Anthony ason laid down a three with just over four minutes to play, giving his team a 26-24 advantage.

The Hoyas scored on their next five possessions, including Bowman and Owens’ threes, to take a nine-point edge into halftime. Though that lead disappeared in the early minutes, Owens’ hot shooting and Kilkenny-Diaw’s impressive defense allowed Georgetown to run away with the victory in the final 10 minutes.

With the win, Georgetown improved to 2-0 in conference play (10-2 overall). After losing to Seton Hall in overtime on Wednesday, St. John’s (7-6, 0-2) remains winless in the Big East.

But the Hoyas’ first true conference test still lies ahead of them, as they stay on the road to face the West Virginia ountaineers Wednesday night. The Mountaineers (10-4, 2-0) are coming off a 91-87 win over No. 3 Villanova.

Georgetown and St. John’s will meet again at MCI Center on Thursday, Feb. 9.

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