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St. John’s Men’s Basketball set to take on Butler, while Duo earn Award from BIG EAST Conference

The St. John’s Men’s Basketball team huddle. Photo by: Stacy Podelski/1495 Sports

 Victorious in each of its last six games and seven of its last eight overall, the St. John’s Men’s Basketball team will look to continue its winning ways on Tuesday when it travels to Indianapolis for a 9 p.m. contest with Butler.

The game will be broadcast live nationally on FS1 with Joe Davis and former St. John’s head coach Steve Lavin on the call. 570 AM WMCA will carry the game locally with John Minko and Brandon Tierney 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 384 and streamed through channel 974.

St. John’s (13-7, 7-6 BIG EAST) has won six straight games, including five in a row in BIG EAST play.  Four of those conference victories have come away from Queens, marking the program’s first four-game winning streak on the road in league action since 1998-99.  That season, the Red Storm won five straight road bouts between Jan. 20 and Feb. 20 during a campaign that ended with a berth in the Elite Eight.  A win on Tuesday would give the Red Storm its second seven-game winning streak in as many seasons under Head Coach Mike Anderson, as last year’s squad won seven straight to close non-conference play, a stretch that included victories over West Virginia and a nationally ranked Arizona squad.

A win on Tuesday would also give Anderson his 400th career head coaching victory.  Entering the game, Anderson owns a 399-222 (.643) record in 19 seasons at UAB, Missouri, Arkansas and St. John’s.  Prior to taking over in Birmingham for the 2002-03 season, Anderson helped his mentor Nolan Richardson rack up 390 wins in 17 seasons as an assistant coach at Tulsa and Arkansas.

This past Saturday in Providence, St. John’s registered single-game season highs for field goal percentage (58.6%) and 3-point field goal percentage (52.6%) in an 11-point win over the Friars.  The Johnnies managed to keep their focus and avoid a letdown just three days after handing then-No. 3/3 Villanova its first BIG EAST loss of the season, 70-59, at Carnesecca Arena.

For their efforts during the Red Storm’s 2-0 week, Posh Alexander was named the BIG EAST Freshman of the Week while Julian Champagnie claimed a spot on the BIG EAST Weekly Honor Roll.  Alexander earned the league’s top rookie honor for the third straight week and a league-high fourth time overall this season.  Alexander tallied team-highs of 16 points, six assists and three steals against the Wildcats before pouring in a season-high 21 points and dishing out four dimes against the Friars.  Champagnie, the BIG EAST Player of the Week on Jan. 18 who received an honor roll nod for the fourth time this season, tallied a pair of double-doubles in as many chances.  The Bishop Loughlin product scored 14 points and grabbed a career-high 13 boards on Wednesday against third-ranked Villanova before exploding for 24 points and 10 rebounds on Saturday in Providence.

Alexander and Champagnie were not the only Brooklyn natives to grab headlines on Saturday, as Rasheem Dunn scored 13 points and matched a career high with 10 assists for his fourth career double-double.  Since returning to the starting lineup for the Butler game on Jan. 12, Dunn is averaging 9.0 points and a team-high 5.0 assists during a stretch that has seen the Johnnies go 7-1.

St. John’s rose to no. 63 in the latest NET rankings released on Monday and currently stands at no. 68 nationally according to KenPom.  The Red Storm received seven votes in Monday’s Associated Press Top 25 poll, marking the first time that the Johnnies received votes since Dec. 30, 2019.

Butler (6-10, 5-8 BIG EAST) welcomes the Johnnies on the heels of a Saturday win over DePaul at Hinkle Fieldhouse.  Bryce Nze and Chuck Harris led the way with 22 points apiece for Butler, which limited DePaul’s leading scorer, Charlie Moore, to five points on 2-of-8 shooting.

Since the last time the two teams met, Butler has added the services of East Tennessee State transfer Bo Hodges.  Hodges has started two of his three appearances and is averaging 11.0 points per game.

Butler has five players averaging double figures on the season led by South Carolina transfer Jair Bolden and 12.0 points per game.  Bolden scored a team-high 17 points in the last meeting between the Bulldogs and the Johnnies.

St. John’s will look to complete the season sweep of Butler for the first time since the debut year of the realigned BIG EAST in 2013-14.  Since that time, the Johnnies have lost six straight to the Bulldogs in Indianapolis.  Despite his team coming out on the wrong end of the final score, Champagnie had a breakout performance the last time he was in Hinkle Fieldhouse on March 4, scoring a then-career-high 23 points on 9-of-14 shooting.

In other news from the team:

For the third straight week, Posh Alexander is the BIG EAST Freshman of the Week while Julian Champagnie has earned a spot on the BIG EAST Weekly Honor Roll.

Alexander and Champagnie led the Red Storm to another undefeated week, as the Johnnies took down No. 3 Villanova at home and won on the road at Providence to extend their winning streak to six games.

Alexander, who has now been named the BIG EAST Freshman of the Week a league-high four times this season, averaged 18.5 points on 53.6 percent shooting, including a 55.6 effort from beyond the arc.  The Brooklyn native also averaged 5.0 assists and 2.0 steals in the Red Storm’s pair of victories.  Alexander recorded team highs of 16 points, six assists and three steals against the Wildcats before netting a season-high 21 points in the win over Providence.

Champagnie posted a pair of double-doubles, tallying 14 points and a career-high 13 rebounds against Villanova on Wednesday before exploding for 24 points and 10 boards at Providence on Saturday.  Against the Friars, Champagnie scored 19 points in the first half alone.  On the week, the Bishop Loughlin product averaged 19.0 points and 11.5 rebounds while shooting 43.3 percent from the floor and 46.2 percent from beyond the arc.

Champagnie, who was named the BIG EAST Player of the Week on Jan. 18, has now been tabbed to the BIG EAST Weekly Honor Roll four times this season.

Alexander, Champagnie and the rest of the Red Storm will return to action on Tuesday against Butler at historic Hinkle Fieldhouse.  Tip-off is scheduled for 9 p.m. on FS1.

For more information on the St. John’s Athletics Department fans are encouraged to click on the link seen here:

Scholarship Fund – St. John’s University Athletics – Official Athletics Website (redstormsports.com)

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