The St. John’s Men’s Basketball team will return to Carnesecca Arena for the first time in nearly a month on Tuesday night when it plays host to No. 15/15 Providence.
Tip-off is scheduled for 9 p.m. on CBS Sports Network with Andrew Catalon and Steve Lappas on the call and Jon Rothstein reporting from the sideline in Queens. Fans can also catch the LEARFIELD Red Storm Sports Network broadcast with John Minko and Brandon Tierney on the Varsity Network app, TuneIn Radio, XM Radio channel 385 and channel 975 in the SXM app, RedStormSports.com and the St. John’s Red Storm mobile app.
Aside from the action on the court, the St. John’s Athletic Department is offering plenty of other reasons to join the Johnnies on Tuesday with a Carnesecca Arena After Dark themed night. The first 1,000 fans in attendance will receive a free St. John’s hat courtesy of Coca-Cola and Super Coffee will be handing out free cans to those in attendance. Two lucky fans, including one student, will take a half-court shot for $25,000. The first 1,000 students in attendance will receive a free Chick-fil-A sandwich and the first 300 students who show up wearing pajamas will score a free ticket to the Feb. 8 game at Madison Square Garden against Villanova. Tuesday’s game will also feature a halftime performance by Ilze Luneau.
St. John’s (11-8, 3-5 BIG EAST) will look to remain undefeated on the season in Queens when it welcomes the conference-leading Friars (18-2, 8-1 BIG EAST). The Johnnies have picked up nine wins in as many opportunities at Carnesecca Arena, averaging 88.0 points per game on 50.8 percent shooting. Julian Champagnie is averaging team-bests of 20.1 points and 7.6 rebounds in those nine wins, including career-highs of 34 points and 16 rebounds in the Red Storm’s victory over DePaul on Jan. 5.
The Red Storm will also look to pick up its first ranked win of the season when the No. 15 Friars come to Queens. St. John’s has won two games against ranked foes in each of its first two seasons under the direction of Mike Anderson, including a pair of top-10 wins at Carnesecca Arena.
Posh Alexander was named to the BIG EAST Weekly Honor for the first time on Monday after leading the Red Storm in a 1-1 week. On Jan. 24 against Seton Hall in South Orange, Alexander tallied a game-high 19 points on 7-of-12 shooting to go along with seven rebounds, five assists and three steals, helping the Red Storm overcome a hostile Walsh Gymnasium crowd for its first road win of the year. Alexander, who was named to the 15-member watch list for the Naismith Defensive Player of the Year Award on Thursday, leads the BIG EAST and ranks seventh nationally with 2.4 steals per game. The Brooklyn native also ranks ninth in the conference in scoring (14.8 ppg) and second in assists (4.8 apg). Last season, Alexander became just the third player in conference history alongside Patrick Ewing and Allen Iverson to win BIG EAST Defensive Player of the Year and BIG EAST Freshman of the Year simultaneously.
Providence enters the week as one of the hottest teams in the nation after taking down No. 22 Marquette at home on Sunday, extending its winning streak to five games and improving to 18-2 overall on the season. The Friars, who are 4-0 this year against ranked teams, are 18-2 for the first time since 1976-77 and 8-1 in BIG EAST play for the first time in program history.
Indiana transfer Al Durham leads the Friars in scoring, averaging 13.7 points per game. Nearly 42 percent of Durham’s scoring has come from the charity stripe, where he is shooting 82.0 percent on the year (114-of-139). No other player in the BIG EAST has made more than 75 free throws on the season.
Graduate student Nate Watson, who scored a game-high 17 points on Sunday against the Golden Eagles, adds 13.5 points and 6.0 boards per contest. A.J. Reeves, who returned to the lineup on Sunday following a near-month-long absence, adds 10.4 points per game on 36.8 percent shooting from beyond the arc. Noah Horchler, the Friars’ leading rebounder at 8.5 boards per game, is also the team’s most efficient three-point threat, shooting 42.0 percent from beyond the arc.
St. John’s and Providence will meet for the 120th time in the history of the two programs on Tuesday night, a series in which the Red Storm holds a 64-55 advantage all-time.
The Johnnies have won three of their last four meetings against the Friars, including each of the last two games at Carnesecca Arena. The Red Storm won each of those last two matchups in Queens by 11 or more points.
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