Two of the top-10 winningest programs in college basketball history will face off in this year’s Gavitt Games when St. John’s travels to Simon Skjodt Assembly Hall for a contest with the Indiana Hoosiers on Wednesday, Nov. 17. Game time and the television network assignment will be announced at a later date.
St. John’s and Indiana will battle for the eighth time in the history of the two programs, who rank ninth and 10th, respectively, on the NCAA’s all-time wins list. The teams last played one another at the 2015 Maui Invitational, an 83-73 win for the Hoosiers. Prior to that meeting in Maui, the Red Storm and the Hoosiers last squared off in the second round of the 1999 NCAA Tournament, as the Johnnies cruised to a 25-point victory in Orlando on their way to an Elite Eight appearance.
St. John’s, which is 2-5 all-time against Indiana, won the first meeting between the two programs in February of 1952, the month before the Johnnies made their first appearance in the Final Four. The Hoosiers took the next four contests between the two schools, including two during the 1975-76 campaign that saw Indiana claim college basketball’s last undefeated season. St. John’s last played in Bloomington on Dec. 23, 1992.
Indiana went 12-15 last season, including a 7-12 record in Big Ten play. In March, former New York Knicks Head Coach Mike Woodson was tapped to lead his alma mater, where he won Big Ten Player of the Year honors in 1980 under Bob Knight.
St. John’s has participated in the Gavitt Tipoff Games four times, boasting a record of 3-1 in the event honoring the legacy of BIG EAST founder Dave Gavitt. The Johnnies downed Rutgers at home during the inaugural event in 2015 before falling to Minnesota on the road the following season. The Red Storm trounced Nebraska, 79-56, in 2017 at Carnesecca Arena before beating Rutgers by 19 in Piscataway the following season. St. John’s did not compete in the Gavitt Games during the 2019-20 season and the event was not held this past year due to scheduling issues caused by the COVID-19 pandemic. The Red Storm has the best Gavitt Games winning percentage of any BIG EAST program.
Two of the Red Storm’s transfer additions for the 2021-22 season, Aaron Wheeler and Montez Mathis, played in six games apiece against Indiana during their Big Ten tenures at Purdue and Rutgers, respectively. Wheeler had a few solid outings against the Hoosiers, posting eight points and seven boards on March 6 of this year after scoring a season-high 11 points against Indiana on Feb. 8, 2020. Wheeler’s Purdue teams went 6-0 against Indiana during his time in West Lafayette while Rutgers went 5-1 against Indiana with Mathis on the squad.
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