The St. John’s Men’s Basketball team will close out a two-game BIG EAST homestand when it welcomes Marquette to Queens on Saturday afternoon.
Originally scheduled for a 2 p.m. tip, the game will now begin at 12 p.m. after Georgetown and Providence were forced to postpone their game because of COVID issues with the Hoyas’ program. The contest between Red Storm and the Golden Eagles will air live nationally on FS1 with Brian Custer and Jim Spanarkel on the call. John Minko and Brandon Tierney will handle broadcasting duties on 570 AM WMCA. The Learfield-IMG College Red Storm Sports Network radio broadcast will also be available through TuneIn Radio, as well as SiriusXM channel 387 and streamed through channel 977.
St. John’s (7-6, 2-5 BIG EAST) will look to continue a stretch of stellar play at home when it welcomes Marquette for the first meeting between the teams this season. The Johnnies are 6-1 this season at Carnesecca Arena with their only loss coming at the hands of a top-10 Creighton team in January. In the team’s most recent outing, the Red Storm held Butler to just 57 points and forced a disciplined Bulldogs squad into a season-high 16 turnovers. Both of the Johnnies’ BIG EAST wins have been by double digits.
Julian Champagnie, the leading scorer in the BIG EAST at 20.7 points per game, led the way once again for the Johnnies against Butler, netting 18 points on 6-of-12 shooting, including a 4-for-8 effort from beyond the arc. The 6-foot-8 sophomore from Queens has finished in double figures 11 times in 11 chances this season and had registered 18 or more points on seven occasions. Far from just a scorer, the versatile Brooklyn native also ranks in the top 10 of the BIG EAST in rebounding (7.6-6th), steals (1.7- 6th) and blocks (1.2-8th). Champagnie also leads the BIG EAST in free throw percentage, sinking 89.6 of his tries from the charity stripe this season.
Champagnie was one of two Johnnies to reach double figures against Butler, as Posh Alexander tallied 10 points and three steals. A freshman guard from Brooklyn, Alexander leads the league in steals at 2.2 per game and ranks first among freshman and seventh overall in the conference with 4.2 assists per contest.
The Red Storm’s defense was firing on all cylinders against Butler, as the Johnnies surrendered a season-low 57 points and held the Bulldogs to just 6-of-24 shooting from beyond the arc. Rasheem Dunn recorded a season-high four steals while Champagnie added a pair of blocks. On the season, St. John’s ranks sixth nationally with 10.1 steals per outing through games played on Wednesday, a category in which they finished second in the country a year ago (10.0).
Like St. John’s, Marquette (7-6, 3-4 BIG EAST) enters the game following a home win after taking down Providence on Tuesday in Milwaukee. Dawson Garcia, a former McDonald’s All-American and the league’s preseason freshman of the year, scored a game-high 20 points on 7-of-11 shooting and added six boards in the 79-69 victory.
Two of Marquette’s three BIG EAST wins have come on the road, as the Golden Eagles rallied to take down Georgetown in Washington D.C. after opening conference play with win over then-No.9 Creighton in Omaha. The victory over the Bluejays was the Golden Eagles’ second of the season against a top-10 team, as they also took down then-No. 4 Wisconsin on Dec. 4 in Milwaukee.
Garcia is the team’s leading scorer at 13.5 points per game and is one of four Golden Eagles averaging double figures on the season. Koby McEwen is averaging 13.1 per game while Ohio State transfer D.J. Carton adds 11.2 and Jamal Cain chips in 10.9.
St. John’s will look to continue a streak of successful showings at home against Marquette, as the Red Storm has won four straight and six of the last seven regular season home games against the Golden Eagles. Last year, Champagnie tallied a 21-point, 12-rebound double-double to lead St. John’s past Marquette in the regular season finale on March 7 at Madison Square Garden.
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