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St. John’s Returns to Face Seton Hall at MSG on Saturday

The St. John’s Men’s Basketball team will return to Madison Square Garden on Saturday when it hosts Seton Hall for the first of two games in three days between the longtime local rivals.

Tip-off is set for 12 p.m. on FS1 with Dave Sims and Jim Spanarkel on the call from “The World’s Most Famous Arena.”  Fans can also catch the LEARFIELD Red Storm Sports Network audio broadcast with John Minko and Vin Parise on the Varsity Network AppTuneIn Radio, XM Radio channel 382 and channel 972 in the SXM app, RedStormSports.com and the St. John’s Red Storm mobile app.

Tickets for the game are on sale through RedStormTix.com or by calling 1-800-GO-STORM.  Tickets will also be available for purchase at the Madison Square Garden box office on the morning of the game. 

The Red Storm (10-6, 2-3 BIG EAST) returns to “The World’s Most Famous Arena” following a Wednesday loss at Creighton.  As the rankings stand on Friday, each of the Red Storm’s next three games will present a chance at a Quad One victory.

St. John’s has been markedly better at home this season, going 10-1 in 11 tries with its only loss coming without the services of Julian Champagnie against Pitt.  In 10 home wins, the Johnnies are averaging 88.0 points on 50.9 percent shooting.  In five games this season played outside Carnesecca Arena or Madison Square Garden, the Red Storm is averaging 72.8 points and shooting 39.8 percent from the field.

In its last game at MSG on Sunday, the Red Storm never trailed in an 88-69 win over Georgetown.  Five Johnnies finished in double figures, led by Champagnie with 25 points.  Through games played on Thursday, Champagnie leads the BIG EAST and ranks ninth nationally in scoring at 21.1 points per contest.  The Brooklyn native has been named to each of the last two BIG EAST Weekly Honor Rolls, an accolade he has received six times overall this season.  With 17 points on Wednesday at Creighton, Champagnie finished in double figures for the 40th straight game dating back to the start of last season and moved into a tie with Harry Boykoff (1942-47) for 40th place on the Red Storm’s all-time scoring list (1,129).  Champagnie is also three rebounds shy of becoming the 46th player in program history to grab 500 career boards.

Graduate student Aaron Wheeler has been enjoying a breakout stretch for the Johnnies during BIG EAST play, averaging 11.8 points per game against conference foes and reaching double figures in each of his last four games.  The Purdue transfer, who set a career-high with 16 points on 7-of-10 shooting against Creighton, is 10-for-18 from three-point range during league action.

Dylan Addae-Wusu, who tallied 17 points and seven assists against Georgetown last Sunday, stuffed the stat sheet with 10 points, eight assists, seven rebounds and three steals on Wednesday night in Omaha.  The Bronx native has reached double figures in 10 of his last 12 appearances and has scored 17 or more in three of his last five games after failing to reach the mark in his first 39 collegiate contests.

Posh Alexander did not finish in double figures for the first time this season on Wednesday night, recording nine points on 4-of-8 shooting.  The reigning BIG EAST Freshman and Defensive Player of the Year leads the league and ranks sixth nationally with 2.5 steals per game entering the weekend.  Offensively, Alexander sits second on the team and 10th in the BIG EAST with 15.1 points per game while ranking second in the conference with 4.9 assists per outing.  The Brooklyn product also ranks third in the league in field goal percentage (50.6%) and sixth in offensive rebounds per game (2.9) despite standing 6-feet tall.  Since the start of last season, the Red Storm is 10-0 in games featuring multiple Alexander 3-pointers.

Seton Hall (11-5, 2-4 BIG EAST) crosses the Hudson on the heels of a two-game Midwest skid against DePaul and Marquette.  The Pirates were scheduled to host Providence on Tuesday, but that game was called due to COVID issues within the Friars’ program.

The Pirates are led in both scoring and rebounding by senior Jared Rhoden, a Long Island native who averages 16.6 points and 6.8 boards per game.  Harvard transfer Bryce Aiken adds 14.5 points per contest thanks in large part to 35.3 percent shooting from beyond the arc and leads the team with 2.7 assists per game.

Ike Obiagu, a 7-foot-2 graduate student, leads the BIG EAST and ranks seventh in the nation with 3.4 blocks per game. 

Seton Hall, who enters the game ranked 30th in the NET, owns a pair of top-10 wins on the season, defeating then-No. 4 Michigan on Nov. 16 in Ann Arbor before topping then-No. 7 Texas in Newark on Dec. 9. 

St. John’s and Seton Hall will meet for the 107th time in the history of the two programs on Saturday afternoon.  The Johnnies hold a 61-45 advantage all-time in the series, but the Pirates have taken four of the last five contests between the programs.  Last season, the Red Storm erased an early 18-point deficit to take down the Pirates at Carnesecca Arena before Seton Hall defeated the Johnnies in overtime in the BIG EAST Quarterfinals five days later.

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

https://redstormsports.com/splash.aspx?id=splash_31

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