With the non-conference season officially in the rearview mirror, the St. John’s Red Storm is gearing up for a loaded weekend of BIG EAST action, beginning with a Friday night match up at 8 p.m. against Butler on FOX Sports 1 at Carnesecca Arena.
RED STORM QUICK HITS
- The Red Storm enters this weekend following a tough finale to the non-league slate, falling to No. 2 Connecticut on Sunday by a score of 70-54. Despite the loss, the Red Storm had plenty of positives to take away from its game against the defending national champions. The 70 points scored by the Huskies marked their lowest single-game point total of the season and their 46.9 percent clip from the floor was their second-lowest effort from the field. Only Stanford held the Huskies to a lower shooting percentage in the latter’s lone loss of the season. In addition to the Red Storm’s stingy defense, Aliyyah Handford became just the third player this season to score 20 points or more against UConn.
- Handford and Danaejah Grant, who rank second and third in the conference, respectively in points per game, continued their stellar scoring efforts against UConn. In addition to Handford’s 20 points, Grant also poured in 13 first-half points against the Huskies. Nationally, Handford (19.1 ppg) and Grant (19.0 ppg) are the third-highest scoring pair of teammates in the NCAA, only trailing duos from Ohio State (Kelsey Mitchell and Ameryst Alston) and Akron (Anita Brown and Sina King).
- Amber Thompson, who recently became the school’s all-time leader in rebounding, put up a solid effort against some of the premier frontcourt players in the nation on Sunday, finishing the contest with 10 points and eight rebounds. Last Friday against Seton Hall, Thompson surpassed Dianne Pugh for the top spot on the St. John’s career rebounding list with board number 869. She did so with 20-rebound effort, the third-highest single-game total and school history and the first 20-plus rebound game since Shenneika Smith grabbed 21 against Iowa in November of 2011.
- Currently in the midst of her first full year as the team’s starting point guard, Aaliyah Lewis set a new career-high against one of the nation’s best teams, dishing out nine helpers against on Sunday against UConn. The sophomore from Staten Island, N.Y., ranks fifth in the conference in both assists per game (4.5) and assist-to-turnover ratio (1.8)
- In their second year as a member of the BIG EAST, Butler enters Friday’s contest against St. John’s with a record of 6-9 on the season.
- Winners of two of their last three in conference, the Bulldogs are .500 in league play at 2-2 on the season.
- Led by Loryn Goodwin at 16.4 points per game, the Bulldogs feature three scorers that average double figures. The team’s second-leading scorers, Ijeoma Uchendu, tallies 11.3 points and 10.1 rebounds per game, the latter of which is good enough for second in the BIG EAST.
ST JOHN’S VS. BUTLER – THE SERIES
- The Bulldogs and the Red Storm met for just the first time in the history of the two programs last season.
- The teams played each other twice, with the Red Storm grabbing a 58-55 victory in each contest.
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