The St. John’s Men’s Basketball team will look to get back in the win column on Tuesday when it kicks off a two-game homestand against Butler at 7 p.m.
The contest between the Red Storm (6-6, 1-5 BIG EAST) and the Bulldogs (3-6, 2-4 BIG EAST) will be broadcast live nationally on FS1 with Brian Custer and Jim Spanarkel on the call from Queens. 570 AM WMCA will carry the game over the airwaves in the New York Metro Area with John Minko and Vin Parise narrating the action. The Learfield-IMG College Red Storm Sports Network radio broadcast will also be available through TuneIn Radio, as well as SiriusXM channel 386 and streamed through channel 976.
St. John’s will look to rebound from a pair of road losses this past week, falling victim to a late Xavier run on Wednesday before suffering a lopsided defeat at the hands of No. 7 Creighton.
In the team’s most recent outing on Saturday in Omaha, Julian Champagnie put forth the best performance of his relatively brief collegiate tenure, tallying a career-best 33 points and 10 rebounds for his fourth double-double of the year. The sophomore wing from Brooklyn sank 13 of his 21 field goal attempts and went 4-of-6 from beyond the arc in addition to tallying two blocks, two assists and three steals. Champagnie, who leads the BIG EAST in scoring at 21.0 points per game, has finished in double figures 10 times in 10 opportunities this season with five showings of 20-plus points. In addition to being the conference’s top bucket getter, Champagnie also ranks among the top 10 in the BIG EAST in rebounds per game (7.9- 6th), steals per game (1.7- 6th), blocks per game (1.1- 9th) and free throw percentage (89.1%- 1st).
Marcellus Earlington also finished in double figures for the Johnnies in Omaha, tallying 13 points and six rebounds in 20 minutes of action. The junior from Stony Point, N.Y., went a perfect 5-for-5 shooting from inside the three-point arc.
Tuesday’s game against Butler is set to be a battle of contrasting styles. According to KenPom, St. John’s ranks 12th nationally in adjusted tempo, averaging 74.8 possessions per game. Butler, on the other hand, ranks 280th in that category, averaging 67.0 possessions per game.
St. John’s will look to continue its string of recent success at Carnesecca Arena, where the team is 5-1 on the season and undefeated against unranked opponents. Butler has struggled this year away from Hinkle Fieldhouse, going 0-3 in true road games with a neutral site loss to Indiana. St. John’s is averaging 83.2 points per game at Carnesecca Arena compared to a 75.5 point-per-game output in road tilts.
Senior guard Aaron Thompson returned to the lineup for Butler in Wednesday’s win over Georgetown after missing five games with injury. The Glenn Dale, Md., native is the Bulldogs’ leading scorer this season at 14.3 points per game. Two other Bulldogs are averaging double figures, as South Carolina transfer Jair Bolden adds 13.0 points per outing and freshman guard Chuck Harris chips in 11.1.
Butler currently ranks last in the BIG EAST in scoring offense, posting 63.7 points per game overall, including a 62.3 point-per-game output in league action.
Last season, Butler snapped a three-game Carnesecca Arena losing streak, jumping ahead early before withstanding a second-half push that saw the Johnnies erase a 23-point deficit. The nation’s no. 11 team at the time, the Bulldogs closed the game on a 7-0 run and held St. John’s scoreless for the final 3:08 of a 60-58 victory. The win marked the first in Queens for Butler since February of 2016.
St. John’s is 6-9 all-time against Butler in a series that dates back to the 1958 NIT at Madison Square Garden. There was a 56-year hiatus in the series before the Bulldogs joined the BIG EAST prior to the 2013-14 academic year. Four of the Red Storm’s five BIG EAST wins against Butler have come at home.
After taking on Butler, the Red Storm will remain in Queens for a Saturday showdown against Marquette. Tip-off is scheduled for 2 p.m. on FS1.
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