Off to a convincing 2-0 start in its first season under the direction of Head Coach Mike Anderson, the St. John’s men’s basketball team will return to action on Tuesday night inside Carnesecca Arena, hosting the University of New Hampshire at 7 p.m.
The game will be broadcast live nationally on FS2 with Brian Custer and Jim Spanarkel on the call. Fans can also listen to John Minko and Tarik Turner call the action on the Red Storm Sports Network from Learfield IMG College, available on 970 AM WNYM, the TuneIn app and Sirius XM Streaming Channel 976.
The Red Storm enters Tuesday’s contest on the heels of two lopsided victories to open the season, defeating both Mercer and Central Connecticut State by 30 points this past week. The pair of one-sided wins marked just the fourth time since 1970 that St. John’s has won back-to-back games by 30 or more points. St. John’s has never won three straight by 30 or more points in the modern history of the program, last accomplishing the feat to start the 1909-10 season with a 42-6 win over Cathedral, a 65-15 victory against N.Y. Training School and a 96-5 drubbing of St. Stephen’s.
This season, the Red Storm has been led in the early going by Mustapha Heron. The senior guard, who on Monday morning was named to the first BIG EAST Weekly Honor Roll of the season, averaged 27.5 points on 60.7 percent shooting in the Johnnies’ two wins.
An incredibly efficient scorer so far in 2019-20, Heron has converted on 10 of his 13 tries from beyond the arc. Through games play on Sunday, the Waterbury, Conn., native leads the nation in three-point field goal percentage among players with at least 10 makes (76.9%).
Heron’s 55 points are the highest two-game point total to open a season by a St. John’s player since Malik Sealy posted 65 in the first two outings of the 1990-91 campaign that ended a win shy of the Final Four. The Red Storm’s 98.0 points per game are also the highest two-game total to kick off a season since that 1990-91 team scored 220 points during the Lapchick Tournament, recording 85 against Monmouth before logging a school-record 135 points against Central Connecticut in the title game.
LJ Figueroa, who registered 18 points in the season opener against Mercer before scoring 17 against CCSU, is one of three Johnnies currently averaging double figures. Marcellus Earlington, who scored just 31 points during the entirety of his freshman year, is also averaging 11 points through two outings.
Anderson’s signature fast-paced style of basketball has been on full display during the beginning of his tenure at Carnesecca Arena. The Johnnies have forced 45 turnovers in two games, turning those extra possessions into 54 points. Those opponent miscues have also been critical in generating fast-break points, as the Red Storm recorded 40 fast-break points on Wednesday before scoring 23 on Saturday.
New Hampshire comes to Queens with a record of 2-0, having slipped by Holy Cross at home, 87-83, on Saturday after dominating Division III Curry College, 93-29, in its season opener at Tuesday.
Nick Guadarrama, a 6-foot-5 forward from Newington, Conn., tallied game-highs of 28 points and 13 rebounds to lift UNH past Holy Cross. As a freshman last season, he averaged 7.8 points and 5.3 rebounds in 26 appearances, 11 of which were starts.
Junior guard Josh Hopkins is the team’s top returning scorer from a year ago, averaging 9.1 points per game as a sophomore. The Greensboro, N.C., native posted 15 points in the win over Holy Cross on Saturday.
St. John’s and New Hampshire will meet for the first time in the history of the two programs when they take the floor on Tuesday night.
Single game and season tickets are available for purchase by calling 1-888-GO-STORM or by visiting RedStormTix.com.