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RV/No. 25 Butler Awaits St. John’s on Wednesday Night

Fresh off a victory against then-No. 10/11 Creighton on Sunday at Carnesecca Arena, the St. John’s men’s basketball team will look to continue its winning ways at RV/No. 25 Butler on Wednesday night.

Tip-off from historic Hinkle Fieldhouse is scheduled for 7 p.m. on CBS Sports Network and 570 AM WMCA. Carter Blackburn and Pete Gillen will call the game on television while John Minko and Brian Mahoney will narrate the action over the airwaves. The audio broadcast of the contest can also be found on TuneIn and Sirius XM.

St. John’s (15-14, 4-12 BIG EAST) claimed its second ranked win of the season on Sunday thanks to a three-point shooting performance for the ages. After entering the game ranked 307th nationally in three-point field goal percentage (30.4%), the Red Storm turned in its best showing in years from downtown, sinking 14 of its 22 (63.6%) attempts in a 20-point triumph over the Bluejays. The Johnnies last had a better showing from beyond the arc against Tulane on Dec. 2, 2016, when the team hit 16 of its 25 attempts in New Orleans.

Leading the way in that category against Creighton was sophomore guard Greg Williams Jr., who exploded for a career-high 21 points on seven 3-pointers, including three on a 17-1 run to help put the game away in the second half. Before Sunday, Williams had scored no more than 11 points or connected on more than three triples in any one game during 55 appearances as a Johnnie. Williams, who matched a single-game St. John’s record for BIG EAST play, sank his seven treys on just 10 attempts, good enough for the second highest conversion rate in program history for a player with seven or more makes. Only D.J. Kennedy, who went 7-for-9 in a triple overtime win against DePaul on March 5, 2010, had a more efficient game from three than Williams. For his effort, Williams was rewarded with a spot on the BIG EAST Weekly Honor Roll.

Julian Champagnie was also honored by the conference office for his performance, earning BIG EAST Freshman of the Week accolades. Against Creighton, Champagnie tallied 13 points on 5-of-10 shooting, including a 2-for-4 effort from beyond the arc. Earlier in the week against Villanova, the Brooklyn native registered 10 points and six rebounds against the then-No. 12 Wildcats. The Bishop Loughlin High School product has recorded double figures in five straight games and six of his last seven overall since returning to the starting lineup against Georgetown on Feb. 2. On the year, Champagnie leads the team and ranks second among BIG EAST freshmen with 6.3 rebounds per game.

Despite not receiving any recognition from the BIG EAST, two other Johnnies recorded banner statistical showings against Creighton. LJ Figueroa notched his eighth career double-double, posting 16 points and 12 rebounds, all of which came on the defensive glass. Rasheem Dunn, who had never dished out more than six assists in a game before Sunday, tallied 10 helpers to go along with 19 points. Dunn and Figueroa were the first St. John’s teammates to register double-doubles in the same game since Justin Simon and Tariq Owens accomplished the feat against Seton Hall on Dec. 31, 2017.

Both of the Red Storm’s remaining regular season games will present opportunities at a Quad One win. The Johnnies, who rank 64th in the NET, currently boast three such victories on their resume with a home wins against West Virginia and Creighton to go along with a neutral site triumph over Arizona. The Red Storm’s road win over DePaul was considered a Quad One win until the Blue Demons recently fell out of the top 75.

Butler (20-9, 8-8 BIG EAST) will play its second straight game at Hinkle Fieldhouse, where the Bulldogs snapped a three-game losing streak against DePaul on Saturday. Butler held the Blue Demons to just 42 points, marking the fifth time this season that the Bulldogs have held opponent to 50 or fewer points. On the year, Butler is allowing an average of just 62.1 points per game, good enough for 12th in the nation.

Offensively, Butler is led by a pair of seniors in Kamar Baldwin and Sean McDermott, who average 15.7 and 11.8 points per game, respectively. Redshirt junior Bryce Nze tops the team on the boards (6.6 rpg) while ranking third on the team in scoring with 9.3 points per contest.

St. John’s will look to avenge a New Year’s Eve loss at Carnesecca Arena, a game in which the Red Storm trailed by as many as 23 in the second half before capturing the lead late, only to see Butler move ahead for good with less than a minute to go.

The Red Storm will look to secure a season split with Butler for the fourth straight year, but in order to do so will need to emerge victorious at Hinkle Fieldhouse for the first time since Jan. 25, 2014. The string of five straight losses Indianapolis has been rather one-sided for St. John’s, falling by an average of 20.2 points per game.

The Johnnies will wrap regular season play on Saturday, welcoming Marquette to Madison Square Garden for a 12 p.m. matchup. Tickets for that game are available for purchase by visiting RedStormTix.com or calling 1-888-GO-STORM.

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