No. 15/17 St. John’s heads to Seton Hall on Wednesday looking to extend its seven game win streak and improve on the program’s best start to a season in nearly 30 years. The Red Storm and Pirates kick off the BIG EAST and FOX Sports New Year’s Eve Tip-Off Marathon at noon in Newark. FOX Sports 1 announcers Gus Johnson and Bill Raftery will call the action at the Prudential Center for the 92nd meeting between the original BIG EAST members.
Boasting an 11-1 overall record, St. John’s veteran-laden roster is prepared to pick up where it left off last season when the Red Storm won 10 of its final 13 BIG EAST regular-season contests. St. John’s has been one of the top defensive teams in the country this season ranking sixth in blocked shots (6.9), 25th in steals (8.9) and 31st in points allowed per game (58.2). St. John’s also has the offensive fire power as four players are in the top-25 of the BIG EAST scoring chart, D’Angelo Harrison (19.0 ppg, 2nd), Rysheed Jordan (14.3 ppg, 7th), Sir’Dominic Pointer (11.5 ppg, 23rd) and Phil Greene IV (11.2 ppg, 25th).
St. John’s is coming off its ninth double-digit win and largest margin of victory this season with a 25-point rout of Tulane at Barclays Center on Sunday. The Red Storm used a career performance from Pointer, who went for 24 points (9-of-13 FG) and seven steals. Harrison delivered his sixth 20-point performance of the year and moved to fourth place on the program’s career scoring chart.
FOX Sports 1 begins its complete coverage of the second annual BIG EAST New Year’s Eve Tip-Off Marathon with the pregame show at 11:30 a.m. BIG EAST games will run consecutively from noon to midnight on FOX Sports 1. The St. John’s radio broadcast with John Minko and Brandon Tierney will air on 570 AM (WNYM).
Things To Know
- St. John’s has maintained a ranking in the AP Top-25 for four-consecutive weeks. The Red Storm moved up two spots to No. 15 on Monday, which is the program’s highest position in the national poll since receiving the same ranking on Feb. 28, 2011. St. John’s spent the final four weeks of the 2010-11 season in the AP Top-25 in Steve Lavin’s first season at the helm. Prior to that, the Red Storm had not held a national ranking in four straight weeks since the 1998-99 campaign.
- St. John’s is off to the program’s best start in nearly 30 years winning 11 of its first 12 games. It is also Steve Lavin’s top start in his 11 seasons as a head coach. Hall of Famer Lou Carnesecca was the last St. John’s head coach to open a season 11-1. In 1985-86, the Johnnies won 11 of their first 12 games, and went on to match a program-record with 31 victories. Prior to 2014-15, Lavin’s best start to a season was in 1997-98 at UCLA when the Bruins opened the year 9-1 and went on to win 24 games advancing to the Sweet 16.
- The Red Storm have averaged a 16.6-point margin of victory during its current seven game win streak. The Red Storm’s stifling defense has limited opponents to 53.1 points, a 35.5 field goal percentage and 24.6 3-point field goal percentage. D’Angelo Harrison (19.9 ppg) and Sir’Dominic Pointer (11.7 ppg) have anchored the offense over this stretch combining for 45.3 percent of the team’s scoring. Harrison and Pointer have shot 53.8 percent (77-143) from the field and 84.4 percent (54-64) at the free-throw line in the last seven games.
- St. John’s is the top rebounding team in the BIG EAST averaging 39.5 boards per contest. The Red Storm is the only team in the conference to have three players rank in the top-10 of the rebounding chart. Chris Obekpa is third with 8.8 per game, Sir’Dominic Pointer is fourth with 7.6 and D’Angelo Harrison is 10th averaging 6.5 rebounds.
- In 2013-14, St. John’s closed the regular-season winning 10 of its last 13 BIG EAST contests, which included two one-point victories against Seton Hall and a signature win over No. 12/12 Creighton at Madison Square Garden. Dating back to last season, the Red Storm has won 22 of its last 26 regular-season games.
About the Series
- St. John’s is 57-34 all-time versus Seton Hall.
- The programs meet for the 92nd time in series history and have played every season since 1963-64. Seton Hall is St. John’s fifth most frequently played opponent.
- The Red Storm has won the last three contests against Seton Hall. Both wins last season came by one point.
- St. John’s last meeting with Seton Hall was on Feb. 13, 2014 at the Prudential Center. Rysheed Jordan’s slick entry pass set up Chris Obekpa for the game winning free-throw with 2.1 seconds on the clock. D’Angelo Harrison led four St. John’s double-digit scorers with 12 points.
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