The St. John’s men’s basketball team will wrap a two-game Madison Square Garden homestand on Sunday afternoon when it welcomes Georgetown to “The World’s Most Famous Arena” for the 115th meeting all-time between the longtime BIG EAST rivals.
The Red Storm (13-9, 2-7 BIG EAST) will make its third national network television appearance this season, as CBS will air the game live at 1 p.m. with Ian Eagle and Bill Raftery calling the action and Jon Rothstein reporting from the sideline. The Red Storm Sports Network broadcast from Learfield IMG College can be found on 970 AM WNYM, TuneIn and Sirius XM, as John Minko and Brandon Tierney will handle the broadcasting duties over the airwaves.
Tickets to the game are available for purchase at RedStormTix.com.
The Johnnies will look to improve to 3-2 this season at “The Mecca” when they host Georgetown (12-9, 2-6 BIG EAST) on Superbowl Sunday afternoon. Three of the Red Storm’s previous four games at MSG have come against teams ranked inside the top 12 of this week’s Associated Press Top 25 poll, as the Red Storm took down West Virginia on Dec. 7 before suffering a pair of setbacks against then-No. 18 Seton Hall and No. 8 Villanova. The team’s other Madison Square Garden matchup was a 74-67 win over DePaul on Jan. 11, the first leg of a regular season sweep over the Blue Demons.
Sunday’s contest will officially kick off the second half of the BIG EAST schedule for St. John’s, which will play five of its final nine games at home. Madison Square Garden will host three of those affairs while two more will be contested in Queens. As it stands on Friday morning, two of those five home games—Creighton and Marquette— will present the Red Storm with opportunities at a Quad One win. The Red Storm already owns three Quad One victories this season.
In the team’s most recent outing against Villanova on Tuesday, Rasheem Dunn put forth the latest in a string of standout performances at “The World’s Most Famous Arena.” The Brooklyn native poured in a season-high 24 points on 10-of-16 shooting in addition to tallying team-highs of five rebounds and four assists. In four games at MSG, the St. Francis Brooklyn and Cleveland State transfer is averaging a team-high 16.0 points and 4.3 assists per outing. Dunn thrived under the bright lights of MSG before his collegiate career even began, scoring 23 points in the 2016 PSAL Championship Game alongside Shamorie Ponds, as the pair led Thomas Jefferson to its first city title since 1954.
LJ Figueroa also finished in double figures against the Wildcats, scoring 12 points after posting a career-high 28 points on 7-of-12 shooting from beyond the arc in a win at DePaul on Jan. 25. The junior wing became just the seventh player in St. John’s history to hit seven or more threes in a single game and one of only four Johnnies to accomplish the feat during a BIG EAST outing. As a team, the Red Storm managed to hit just six triples against Villanova after averaging 11.5 during a two-game Midwest swing against Marquette and DePaul. Entering the weekend, St. John’s (6.2) and Georgetown (5.9) rank eighth and ninth, respectively, in made three-point field goals per game during BIG EAST play.
Senior guard Mustapha Heron will also look to regain his scoring touch on Sunday against the Hoyas. After averaging 18.7 points on 47.4 percent shooting, including a 50.0 percent showing from three-point range, Heron managed just three points against Villanova on Tuesday. The Auburn transfer will also look to average a subpar outing in his last meeting with Georgetown, as he posted just four points in limited minutes last time out against the Hoyas.
Georgetown blitzed the Johnnies during that first meeting on Jan. 8 in Washington, jumping out to a 29-point halftime lead before the Red Storm managed to pull within 13 in the second stanza. Mac McClung, one of five Hoyas to finish in double figures, scored 21 of his 24 points in the opening half. McClung’s 16.4 points per game lead the team in 2019-20, while teammate Omer Yurtseven is not far behind at 16.3 points per outing on 53.8 percent shooting. The Istanbul, Turkey, native also ranks third in the BIG EAST in rebounding at 9.7 boards per game and has posted 11 double-doubles, a total that also ranks third in the conference behind DePaul’s Paul Reed (14) and Xavier’s Tyrique Jones (12).
After taking on Georgetown, the Red Storm will have six days off before hitting the road for a showdown with Creighton on Feb. 8 in Omaha. The Johnnies will then return to New York for home tilts against Providence on Feb. 12 at Carnesecca Arena and Xavier on Feb. 17 at MSG. Tickets for all St. John’s home games are available by visiting RedStormTix.com or calling the ticket office at 1-888-GO-STORM.
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