After its comeback efforts fell short against Seton Hall on Friday in the team’s BIG EAST opener, the St. John’s Men’s Basketball squad will return to action on Sunday night with a rare on-campus showdown against Georgetown.
The Johnnies and the Hoyas will meet for the 117th time in the history of the two programs when they tip off at 7:30 p.m. inside McDonough Gymnasium. St. John’s and Georgetown last met in an on-campus venue during the 1980-81 season, as the Hoyas claimed victory at McDonough a month after St. John’s won their meeting at Alumni Hall. The move to larger, off-campus arenas in the series history coincided with the arrival of two futures Hall of Famers, Chris Mullin and Patrick Ewing, for the 1981-82 campaign.
The game will air live nationally on FS1 with Steve Buckhantz and Donny Marshall on the call. 570 AM/102.3 FM WMCA will carry the Red Storm radio broadcast with John Minko handling play-by-play duties and Vin Parise providing color commentary. The Learfield-IMG College Red Storm Sports Network radio broadcast will also be available through TuneIn Radio, as well as SiriusXM channel 388 and streamed through channel 978.
Both St. John’s (5-2) and Georgetown (2-3) will look to get back in the win column after falling in their BIG EAST openers on Friday. The Red Storm struggled to contain Seton Hall’s Sandro Mamukelashvili, a Preseason First Team All-BIG EAST selection, who went for a career-high 32 points on 12-of-18 shooting. Playing at home, Georgetown led perennial league power Villanova by as many as 18 in the first half before the Wildcats outscored the Hoyas by a 43-17 margin in the latter stanza to win by 13, 76-63.
The Red Storm will open BIG EAST play with back-to-back road contests for the first time since 2013-14. That season, the Johnnies lost five straight to open league action before rattling off 10 wins in their next 13 games and narrowly missing out on an NCAA Tournament berth.
Julian Champagnie continued a stretch of stellar play during Friday’s BIG EAST opener, leading the Johnnies with 24 points on 10-of-19 shooting to go along with six rebounds. Champagnie, who has scored 16 or more points in all five of his appearances this season, eclipsed the 20-point plateau for the third time this year and the fifth time in his last eight outings dating back to last year. On the season, Champagnie is averaging team-highs of 22.4 points 6.8 rebounds per game.
After missing the last five games with a concussion, Rasheem Dunn returned to action against Seton Hall, tallying 10 points and three steals in just 16 minutes of action. Two other Johnnies finished in double figures against the Pirates, as Greg Williams Jr. scored 12 and Vince Cole added 11.
St. John’s is 60-56 all-time against the Hoyas in a series that dates back to 1909. The two teams are 3-3 against one another in their last six meetings, but the Hoyas are 3-1 in the regular season during that time, as two of the Johnnies’ victories have come in the opening round of the BIG EAST Tournament. This past March, the two teams played their final official game of 2019-20 against one another, as St. John’s closed the contest on a 23-0 run to beat Georgetown, 75-62, on March 11. The BIG EAST Tournament was called the following day during halftime of the Red Storm’s BIG EAST Quarterfinal matchup against Creighton, a game that the Johnnies led by three at the break.
Georgetown is led offensively by a pair of returners from last season in Jahvon Blair and Jamorko Pickett. Blair is pouring in a team-high 18.4 points per game while Pickett is averaging a double-double with 14.6 points and 10.0 rebounds per contest. Sophomore Qudus Wahad is also averaging double figures with 11.2 points per game.
St. John’s and Georgetown are scheduled to meet again on Dec. 20 at Carnesecca Arena, just a week after their first game. The Red Storm is also scheduled to play No. 8/7 Creighton prior to that contest on Dec. 17.
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