The St. John’s Men’s Basketball team will host its final regular season home game on Wednesday night at Carnesecca Arena when Xavier travels to Queens.
Tip-off is set for 6:30 p.m. on FS1 with Tim Brando and Bill Raftery on the call. 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 388 and channel 978 in the SXM app, RedStormSports.com and the St. John’s Red Storm mobile app.
The first 4,000 fans in attendance will receive a commemorative bobblehead of St. John’s legend Marcus Hatten, who scored 1,400 points in just two seasons with the Red Storm from 2001-03, courtesy of Coca-Cola. The first 1,000 students will also receive a replica throwback Red Storm jersey, also courtesy of Coca-Cola. Two fans will also be selected to compete in an on-court free throw contest for the chance to win a 58-inch Vizio 4K LED Smart TV courtesy of Maspeth Federal Savings.
Prior to the game, St. John’s will honor the careers of three student-athletes: Tareq Coburn, Stef Smith and Jalen Rosemond.
St. John’s (15-13, 7-10 BIG EAST) will look to snap a two-game skid and complete a regular season sweep of Xavier (17-11, 7-10 BIG EAST). Tied for seventh place in the BIG EAST standings, St. John’s would lock up the no. 7 seed in next week’s BIG EAST Tournament with a win. The Johnnies can finish no lower than eighth and no higher than seventh in the final BIG EAST standings.
The Red Storm is coming off a Sunday loss against DePaul in Chicago, which snapped a three-game road winning streak for the Johnnies. Three St. John’s players scored 18 or more points, as Julian Champagnie tallied 26, Aaron Wheeler added 20 and Posh Alexander chipped in 18.
Champagnie ranks second in the BIG EAST in both scoring (19.0 ppg) and steals (1.9 spg) entering Wednesday’s contest. The junior is one of only four players in the nation averaging at least 19.0 points and 1.9 steals per contest alongside Washington’s Terrell Brown Jr., Arkansas’ JD Notae and Vanderbilt’s Scotty Pippen Jr. The Brooklyn native is three points away from tying fellow Bishop Loughlin alumnus Mark Jackson (1,328) for 25th place on the St. John’s all-time scoring list. Champagnie is also three 3-pointers shy of tying Felipe Lopez and Paris Horne for fourth on the Red Storm’s all-time rankings in that category.
Wheeler reached double figures for the 14th time in 17 BIG EAST appearances on Sunday, posting his 20 points on 8-of-13 shooting. In conference play, Wheeler ranks 13th in the league with 13.5 points per outing thanks in large part to a 43.0 percent success rate from beyond the arc, the top percentage in the BIG EAST.
In addition to scoring 18 points on 8-of-12 shooting against DePaul, Alexander also grabbed a team-high eight boards and dished out four assists. Six of Alexander’s eight rebounds came on the offensive glass.
Xavier travels to Queens having dropped four straight and six of its last seven dating back to a home loss to DePaul on Feb. 5. The Musketeers have not won on the road since a 74-64 victory over Creighton on Jan. 29 in Omaha. Xavier is 5-6 this season away from Cintas Center, including a loss to Iowa State in November at Barclays Center.
The Musketeers are led offensively by Jack Nunge, who scored a team-high 22 points against St. John’s on Feb. 16 and is averaging 13.0 points and 7.3 boards on the season. Senior guard Paul Scruggs ranks second on the squad with 12.2 points per game and is the team’s leading distributor at 4.1 assists per outing.
St. John’s and Xavier will meet for the 20th time in the history of the two programs on Wednesday with all but one of those contests coming as BIG EAST foes. The Musketeers own a 14-5 edge in the all-time series, but St. John’s has won back-to-back since snapping a 12-game losing streak that lasted from 2016-21.
The last time the Musketeers visited Queens, St. John’s hit 11 3-pointers in a 93-84 win that gave Mike Anderson his 400th career head coaching victory.
St. John’s will wrap the regular season on Saturday in Milwaukee against Marquette. Tip-off between the Red Storm and Golden Eagles is set for 9 p.m. ET on FS1.
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