The St. John’s men’s basketball team meets Creighton for the second time in 11 days, hosting the Bluejays Saturday at Madison Square Garden on Saturday. The Red Storm looks to avenge a three-point setback on Jan. 28 in Omaha. The contest will be televised on FOX Sports Networks, airing locally on MSG Network with announcers Justin Kutcher and Tarik Turner. St. John’s radio broadcast is available on 570 AM (WMCA).
St. John’s (14-8, 3-6) returns to The Garden where it has won its last two BIG EAST contests. The Red Storm most recently defeated Providence, 75-66, on Jan. 31 to complete the regular-season sweep of the Friars. Sir’Dominic Pointer posted a team-high 20 points, while Phil Greene IV added 16 and D’Angelo Harrison had 15. On Jan. 21, St. John’s edged Marquette, 60-57, as Pointer went for a double-double (15 points, 12 rebounds).
In its two BIG EAST home wins, the Red Storm has limited opponents to a 36.6 field goal percentage and a 26.2 3-point field goal mark. Pointer averaged 17.5 points, 9.5 rebounds, 5.5 assists and 3.5 blocks in these victories. Rysheed Jordan contributed 14.5 points per game, shooting 58.8 percent from the field and 85.7 percent at the free-throw line.
Creighton (11-13, 2-9) is coming off a signature overtime win at Xavier on Wednesday. The Bluejays sank 10 threes shooting 41.7 percent from downtown to earn a 79-72 victory. It snapped the Musketeers’ 12-game home win streak.
Things To Know
Rysheed Jordan has scored double-figures in six of the last seven games, which includes his 17-point performance on Tuesday at Butler. Jordan played only seven minutes in the Red Storm’s first meeting with Creighton on Jan. 28 before leaving the contest with an injury. Excluding his brief appearance versus the Bluejays, the sophomore guard has averaged 16.3 points shooting 44.6 percent (33-of-74) to go with 3.3 assists in his last six full games.
· The Red Storm’s strength of schedule is rated No. 17 in the nation according to RPIRatings.com on Feb. 5. Six of St. John’s 14 wins came against teams in the top-100 of the RPI ratings, including non-conference victories over Minnesota, Saint Mary’s, Long Beach State and Syracuse at the Carrier Dome. St. John’s went 11-2 (.846) against non-conference opponents, which is the program’s best mark since going 10-1 (.909) in 1990-91. The BIG EAST has the second highest RPI in the nation and compiled a 93-30 (.756) record against out-of-conference competition.
· St. John’s completed the regular-season sweep of Providence on Jan. 31 at Madison Square Garden earning a 75-66 victory. The Red Storm limited the Friars to 3-of-16 (18.8 percent) shooting from 3-point territory, which was the lowest mark by a St. John’s opponent in BIG EAST play. Earlier this season, St. John’s held Syracuse to 3-of-22 (13.6 percent) from 3-point territory and Saint Mary’s to 2-of-12 (16.7 percent).
· The Maui Invitational will deliver an eight-foot, hand-crafted, authentic surfboard to the St. John’s men’s basketball team during its game against Creighton on Saturday. Each winter, the Tournament presents a surfboard to each participating team in anticipation of their trip to the beautiful island of Maui. St. John’s will make its first appearance in the Maui Invitational this November. Red Storm coach Steve Lavin has coached in two previous Tournaments as a member of the UCLA staff, once as an assistant in 1995 and later as the Bruins’ head coach in 2001. UCLA will also be participating in the 2015 Maui Invitational. Indiana, Kansas, Vanderbilt, UNLV, Wake Forest and tournament host Chaminade round out the field.
· D’Angelo Harrison scored his 2,000th career point on Tuesday versus Butler at Hinkle Fieldhouse. He became only the third player in St. John’s history to reach the milestone joining Chris Mullin (2,440) and Malik Sealy (2,402). The senior guard has scored double-figures in 11-straight games and 21 times in 22 contests this season. Harrison is 33rd in BIG EAST history with 1,032 points in conference play. He is one point behind Syracuse’s Derrick Coleman (1986-90, 1033) and within 30 points of entering the top-25. In 60 career BIG EAST contests, Harrison has averaged 17.2 per game. He has started 78 consecutive appearances for the Red Storm.
About the Series
· St. John’s has a 6-4 advantage in its series with Creighton, however the Bluejays have won two of three contests as BIG EAST rivals.
· The Red Storm earned a 70-65 victory in the last meeting at Madison Square Garden on Feb. 9, 2014 against then-ranked No. 12/12 Creighton. D’Angelo Harrison led St. John’s with 19 points and hit the go-ahead 3-pointer with 2:08 to play. Chris Obekpa and Sir’Dominic Pointer each had 11 points.
· St. John’s and Creighton meet for the second time in 11 days. The Bluejays picked up a 77-74 victory on Jan. 28 at CenturyLink Center Omaha. D’Angelo Harrison back rimmed a 3-pointer at the buzzer almost sending the game to overtime. He led four St. John’s players in double-figures with 18 points.
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