BIG EAST hoops return to Madison Square Garden on Tuesday when No. 24/24 St. John’s hosts No. 8/8 Villanova in primetime on FOX Sports 1 at 9 p.m. Gus Johnson and Bill Raftery will call the action from “The World’s Most Famous Arena.” The St. John’s radio broadcast with John Minko and Vin Parise can be heard on 970 AM (WNYM).
Nationally ranked for the fifth straight week, St. John’s (11-3, 0-2) returns to Madison Square Garden where it has won two of three games. Earlier this season, the Red Storm overcame a 10 point first half deficit and earned a 70-61 victory over Minnesota in the NIT Season Tip-Off. D’Angelo Harrison had a game-high 19 points and grabbed nine rebounds. St. John’s second win came in the MSG Holiday Festival coasting to a 74-53 decision against Fordham. Rysheed Jordan led the way with 24 points on 9-of-12 shooting.
Boosted by a seven-game win streak in December, the longest for the program since 1999-2000, the Red Storm has also gotten off to its best start through 14 games in the last 15 years. Winners of 22 of its last 28 regular season games, St. John’s will be looking for its first BIG EAST victory of the season.
The Red Storm earned seven wins in its past nine regular season contests at “The World’s Most Famous Arena.” The recent regular season success at MSG includes the team’s last win against a ranked foe, a 70-65 triumph against then-No. 12/12 Creighton on Feb. 9, 2014.
Things To Know
- St. John’s has held an AP Top-25 ranking for five-consecutive weeks (Dec. 8, 15, 22, 29 & Jan. 5). The Red Storm elevated to No. 15 on Dec. 29, 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. The Red Storm had not held a national ranking in five straight weeks since the 1998-99 campaign.
- D’Angelo Harrison is averaging 28.0 points and shooting 50.0 percent from the field in conference action. Harrison, a BIG EAST Player of the Year contender, matched a season-high 31 points versus Butler on Saturday at Carnesecca Arena hitting 10-of-21 field goal attempts and going 9-of-11 at the line. It was Harrison’s fifth-straight contest with 20+ points and the 47th time in his career that he has scored 20 or more and was his third 30-point performance.
- Sir’Dominic Pointer is one of the most versatile players in the BIG EAST ranking in the top-10 of the conference in rebounding (7.6), field goal shooting percentage (52.6 pct), steals (2.4), blocks (1.9), assist-to-turnover (2.0) and minutes played (33.0). He also leads the BIG EAST with 6.1 defensive rebounds per game. Over the last five games, Pointer has elevated his production across the board averaging 11.8 points and team-highs with 7.4 rebounds, 4.2 assists and 2.6 steals per contest.
- Phil Greene IV has 976 points in his career and is closing in on becoming the 49th St. John’s player to reach the 1,000-point plateau. Greene is averaging a career-high 11.6 points this season and 14.5 points in two BIG EAST games. In total, he has recorded seven double-figure performances in 2014-15. The senior guard has averaged 8.8 points in 111 games played in his career.
- Chris Obekpa is second in the nation averaging 3.93 blocks and in two BIG EAST contests the 6-foot-10 junior has swatted 5.0 per game. Obekpa has 282 career blocks, which are the second most among active players in the NCAA. He has blocked 106 shots in 37 BIG EAST games over his career, and his 2.9 average is the eighth best in conference history.
About the Series
- St. John’s holds a 60-49 all-time record in 109 meetings with Villanova, the most-frequently played opponent in program history. The series dates back to 1909.
- Two of St. John’s last five meetings with Villanova have gone to overtime, but the Wildcats have come away with five-straight wins in the series.
- D’Angelo Harrison finished with 22 points in the last meeting between the teams at Madison Square Garden on Jan. 11, 2014, but the then-No. 8/10 Wildcats notched a 74-67 victory.
For more information on the St. John’s Men’s Basketball team fans are encouraged to click on the link seen here: