The St. John’s Men’s Basketball team will begin the final stretch of its eight-game homestand on Thursday night when the Red Storm hosts red-hot Monmouth at Carnesecca Arena.
Tip-off is scheduled for 8:30 p.m. and the game will air nationally on FS1 with Dan Hellie and Casey Jacobsen on the call. John Minko and Vin Parise will handle the broadcasting duties on the LEARFIELD Red Storm Sports Network, available on a wide array of platforms including The Varsity Network App, TuneIn, XM Radio channel 382 and channel 972 in the Sirius XM app, RedStormSports.com and the St. John’s Red Storm Mobile app.
The contest will be the first of three for St. John’s in the Gotham Classic, the Red Storm’s multi-team event for the 2021-22 season. After hosting Monmouth (7-1) on Thursday, the Johnnies will welcome Colgate to Queens on Sunday before taking on former BIG EAST rival Pittsburgh at Madison Square Garden on Dec. 18 at noon.
The Johnnies (6-2) will look to maintain their perfect record in Queens this season when they welcome a Monmouth team that has won seven straight since falling at Charlotte on the opening night of the season. One of those victories garnered plenty of national attention, as the Hawks took down Cincinnati, 61-59, on the road two weeks ago. After trailing by eight at the break and falling behind by as many as 12 early in the second half, Monmouth held the Bearcats to just 23 second-half points.
Monmouth sits at no. 42 in Wednesday’s update of the NET rankings, making Thursday’s game a Quad Two opportunity for the Johnnies.
The Hawks, who won their first two MAAC games this past weekend in Western New York, are led offensively by graduate student George Papas at 17.3 points per game. Graduate transfer Shavar Reynolds, a familiar face to St. John’s fans from his time at Seton Hall, is pouring in 15.8 points per contest. Two other Hawks, graduate students Walker Miller (14.6 ppg) and Marcus McLary (11.5 ppg) are also averaging double figures for Monmouth.
St. John’s will try and move to 7-0 on the year in Queens after defeating Fordham, 83-69, on Sunday at Carnesecca Arena. Posh Alexander scored a career-high 23 points to lead the Johnnies while his former high school teammate, Dylan Addae-Wusu, posted his first career double-double with 11 points and 11 assists. Julian Champagnie, who was named to the BIG EAST Weekly Honor for the fourth time in four opportunities this past Monday, tallied 16 points and eight boards while Montez Mathis netted 16 points on 6-of-10 shooting. Esahia Nyiwe was inserted into the starting lineup for the first time against Fordham, finishing with seven points, eight boards and three blocks in 25 minutes of action.
Through games played on Tuesday, Champagnie ranks second in the BIG EAST and 12th in the nation with 21.0 points per outing. The Brooklyn native, who is just 20 points away from the 1,000 mark for his St. John’s career, also ranks 10th in the league in rebounding (7.1) and second in steals (2.0). Alexander has also etched his name all over the conference and national leaderboards. At 16.0 points per game, the Our Saviour Lutheran product currently ranks sixth in the BIG EAST in scoring while pacing the league in both assists (5.9) and steals (2.3). The reigning BIG EAST Freshman and Defensive Player of the Year ranks 16th nationally in assists and 32nd in steals.
St. John’s and Monmouth will face off for the fourth time in the history of the two programs on Thursday. The Red Storm has won the three previous meetings, all of which were held at Carnesecca Arena/Alumni Hall, by an average margin of 25.0 points. The teams last met on Nov. 22, 2013, as Phil Greene IV scored 22 points on 9-of-12 shooting to lead the way for St. John’s in a 64-54 win.
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