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Red Storm Returns to Action at Georgetown

The contest will present St. John’s with its fourth consecutive Quad One opportunity and its fifth overall of the season. The Johnnies are currently 2-2 in those contests, but will have plenty more opportunities to rack up top-tier victories before the season is through. As it stands on Tuesday’s NET rankings, 11 of the Red Storm’s remaining 16 BIG EAST games will present a chance at a Quad One win. The BIG EAST currently boasts five teams in the top 30 of the NET, six in the top 40 and all 10 in the top 100.

The Red Storm’s defense traveled well in its first true road game of the season against Xavier, as the Johnnies forced 19 Musketeer turnovers, including 12 that resulted from St. John’s steals. Through games played on Monday, the Red Storm’s 10.5 steals per game rank fourth nationally. On the season, St. John’s opponents are coughing up 18.4 possessions per outing on average. The Johnnies also rank fourth nationally with an average turnover margin of +6.1, aided by a stretch of three straight games in which the Red Storm recorded efforts of eight turnovers or fewer against marquee opponents in Arizona, Butler and Xavier.

While the Red Storm’s defense has been no cause for concern, the Johnnies will be looking to snap a bit of an offensive funk on Wednesday night in D.C. Last time out against Xavier, St. John’s shot a season-worst 1-for-16 from three-point range after converting on just four of its 22 attempts from deep in the conference opener against Butler. The Red Storm will also look to right the ship in terms of free throw shooting, as the team went 18-for-29 against the Musketeers after shooting 80.0 percent combined in the two games prior against Arizona and Butler.

Georgetown will play its first home game of conference play following a 78-62 falter at Seton Hall in its most recent outing on Friday night. Sophomore guard Mac McClung scored a team-high 20 points in the loss. The Gate City, Va., native is the team’s second leading scorer this season at 15.9 points per game.

Omer Yurtseven, a 7-foot transfer from NC State, is averaging a near double-double for the Hoyas, ranking fourth in the league in scoring at 17.3 points per game and third in the BIG EAST in rebounding with 9.8 boards per contest. The Istanbul, Turkey, native was held to single digits for the first time this season against Seton Hall, going 3-of-14 from the floor and finishing with nine points.

The up-tempo style of Head Coach Mike Anderson could potentially cause issues for a Georgetown team that has distributed 89.8 percent of its minutes in conference play among just six players. The Hoyas have also struggled at taking care of the rock, ranking 274th nationally with 15.0 turnovers per game.

St. John’s and Georgetown will meet for the 114th time in the history of the two programs, a series that tilts 59-54 in favor of the Johnnies. Last season, the Red Storm defeated the Hoyas in Washington for the first time since 2003, 97-94, in an overtime thriller. Shamorie Ponds netted a season-high 37 points and LJ Figueroa nearly tallied a double-double with 11 points and nine boards.

After taking on Georgetown, the Red Storm will return home for its first BIG EAST game of the season at Madison Square Garden on Saturday against DePaul. Tip-off is scheduled for 12 p.m. on FS1 and 970 AM WNYM.

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