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St. John’s MBB Squares Off with Xavier on Monday at MSG

St John's Men's Basketball team huddle. Photo by: Stacy Podelski/1495 Sports

St John’s Men’s Basketball team huddle. Photo by: Stacy Podelski/1495 Sports

Winning four of its last five games, St. John’s is one of the hottest teams in the BIG EAST. The Red Storm carries the momentum of a five-game home win streak into Monday’s contest with Xavier (18-10, 8-7) at Madison Square Garden.

The Red Storm and Musketeers will tip-off at 8 p.m. on FOX Sports 1. Joe Davis and Donny Marshall have the call for the national broadcast. St. John’s radio broadcast will air on 970 AM (WNYM) with John Minko and Brandon Tierney.

St. John’s (18-9, 7-7) rallied for an 85-72 victory over Seton Hall on Saturday at Carnesecca Arena. The Red Storm used a 13-2 run midway through the second half to pull away in a contest that featured 13 ties and 13 lead changes. St. John’s five-member senior class – D’Angelo HarrisonSir’Dominic PointerPhil Greene IVJamal Branch and Khadim Ndiaye – received a standing ovation from the St. John’s faithful after another strong all-around performance in Queens. The four-year seniors finished their careers at Carnesecca Arena with a 31-4 record.

Pointer recorded his seventh double-double of the season against the Pirates with 22 points (8-of-12 FG) and 10 rebounds, helping St. John’s improve to 9-1 on its home court in Queens. It was the sixth time in the last 10 games the 6-foot-6 senior from Detroit led the Red Storm in scoring and eighth time as the team’s top rebounder.

Now the Johnnies look forward to hosting consecutive games at Madison Square Garden where the team has been equally as tough. St. John’s has won three straight BIG EAST contests at “The World’s Most Famous Arena”, including its most recent victory over Creighton, 84-66, on Feb. 7. The Red Storm produced an 8-2 record in its last 10 BIG EAST regular-season games at MSG dating back to its 5-1 finish in 2013-14, the program’s second 20-win campaign in the past four seasons.

Things To Know

  • St. John’s is one of the hottest teams in the BIG EAST going 4-1 in the last five games. Four-year seniors D’Angelo Harrison (17.8 ppg), Sir’Dominic Pointer (17.4 ppg) and Phil Greene (16.8 ppg) have accounted for 66.7 percent of the team’s scoring offense during this stretch. Rysheed Jordan has also averaged double-figures with 13.8 points and shot a team-high 48.0 percent (12-of-25) from downtown.
  • Steve Lavin once again has St. John’s trending upward in the stretch run of the regular-season. The Red Storm has gone 8-2 in its last 10 BIG EAST regular-season games at Madison Square Garden over the last two years.  The Johnnies have a 3-1 league mark this season at MSG heading into its final two home games versus Xavier and Georgetown. St. John’s went 5-1 against conference opponents at The Garden in the final month of the 2013-14 regular-season, which includes a 70-65 victory over then-No. 12 Creighton on Feb. 9, 2014. It was one of 10 Top-25 victories in Lavin’s four full seasons at the helm.
  • St. John’s has won its previous three BIG EAST games at Madison Square Garden. The Red Storm rolled to an 84-66 victory over Creighton in its last contest at “The World’s Most Famous Arena”. Rysheed Jordan went for a career-high 25 points and D’Angelo Harrison had a 21-point, 10 rebound double-double. St. John’s shot 66.7 percent (22-of-33) in the first half and led by double-digits for more than 35 minutes.
  • Sir’Dominic Pointer is 11 points away from becoming the 50th player in St. John’s storied basketball history to record 1,000-career points. The 6-foot-6 senior is having a career year and ranks in the top-10 of the BIG EAST with a 13.4 scoring average and 14.8 points per game in conference play. Pointer has helped lift St. John’s to wins in six of the last nine BIG EAST contests. Over the last 10 games, he has led the Red Storm with 17.5 scoring average, 8.6 rebounds, 3.4 blocks and 1.7  steals. Pointer has also dished out 2.7 assists per game, while shooting 81.4 percent (35-of-43) at the free-throw line and 53.9 percent (69-of-129) from the field during the 10 game stretch.
  • St. John’s has won five-straight BIG EAST home games. During this hot stretch, Rysheed Jordan has averaged 17.4 points, shooting 55.3 percent (21-of-38) and 62.5 (10-of-16) percent from 3-point range. Defensively, the Red Storm has locked down the 3-point line holding opponents to 28.3 percent from downtown.
  • St. John’s has elevated its play in February under Steve Lavin. The Red Storm has won four of its six games this month, and in total has accumulated a 19-9 overall record over Lavin’s tenure in February. The Red Storm went 7-1 in 2010-11 en route to a 21-win season and NCAA Tournament berth. Last year, the Johnnies posted a 6-2 record in February and won eight of the final 10 regular-season contests. Lavin has a 54-29 (.651) career record in February over his 12 seasons as head coach at St. John’s and UCLA.
  • The Red Storm’s strength of schedule is rated No. 38 in the nation according to RPIRatings.com on Feb. 22. 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 94-30 (.758) record against out-of-conference competition. St. John’s contributed to the league’s non-conference success with key victories over Minnesota, Saint Mary’s, Long Beach State and Syracuse. The Red Storm’s 69-57 victory over the Orange on Dec. 6 was the program’s first win at the Carrier Dome in 15 years.

About the Series

  • St. John’s has split four meetings in its series with Xavier which dates back to 1981.
  • The Red Storm and Musketeers will play for the second time in 10 days. In their last meeting on Feb. 14, St. John’s picked up a 78-70 victory behind a career-high 24 points (9-of-10 FG, 6-of-6 FT) from Sir’Dominic Pointer. St. John’s is only the second team to leave the Cintas Center with a win this season in 15 games.
  • Xavier came away with a 65-53 victory in their last meeting at Madison Square Garden on Feb. 25, 2014.

For more information on the St. John’s Men’s Basketball team fans are encouraged to click on the link seen here:

http://www.redstormsports.com

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