DePaul vs. St. John's Game Preview

Set your alarm clocks for a 11 a.m. start on Saturday morning as the Blue Demons take on the Red Storm of St. John's at Allstate Arena. We preview Saturday's homecoming game in this report.

Key Information

DePaul Blue Demons (10-7, 1-3) vs. St. John's (10-7, 2-3) – Saturday, January 19th, 11:00 a.m. Central – Allstate Arena, Rosemont, Illinois

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Game Preview

After dropping two straight Big East contests, DePaul will look to get back on the left side of the ledger when they host the St. John's Red Storm this Saturday morning.

DePaul is now 10-7 overall and 1-3 in the Big East after dropping a 75-70 decision to Cincinnati on Tuesday night. St. Johns brings in a 10-7 record as well; but a 2-3 Big East record after they secured a 67-63 upset victory over Notre Dame on Tuesday.

While St. John's is light on experience, they make up for it in talent. The Red Storm already have two victories over top-25 teams, as they have beaten both Notre Dame and Cincinnati this season.

St. John's is led by the Big East's second-leading scorer in sophomore guard DeAngelo Harrison (19.8 PPG). The Red Storm also get 13.8 points from freshman forward Jakarr Sampson. Sampson had a team-high 17 points in their win over Notre Dame.

Chris Obekpa mans the middle for St. John's and if that's a familiar name to you all, it should be. DePaul actively recruited the big man from Nigeria. While he isn't much of a scorer (4 ppg), he is a master at blocking shots and leads the nation in blocks, averaging 4.9 a game.

Sir Dominic Pointer (5.8 ppg) and Chicago native Phil Greene (9.1 ppg) round out the starting five for St. John's. St. John's is also getting Texas A&M transfer Jamal Branch back into the mix as well. Branch will be playing in his sixth game this year and is averaging 7.8 points per game.

This game will be more about offense than defense, as both teams rank in the bottom fourth in scoring defense in the Big East (DePaul is 15th in the league, allowing 69.7 ppg while St. John's is 12th in the league, allowing 66.4 ppg).

This may be the type of matchup DePaul can possibly exploit, as St. John's is relatively young and prefers to play an up and down pace.

DePaul could use this win at home, as they will take to the road for two games when they play Pittsburgh next Saturday and a return trip to St. John's on January 30th.

The Last Time

On February 20, 2012 at St. John's Carnesecca Arena, DePaul just couldn't make the plays down the stretch while running out of steam and losing to St. John's by a score of 79-72.

In a game of runs, DePaul had a hard time making momentum changing three-pointers as they shot an abysmal 19.4 percent from three-point range (6-31). DePaul was also done in by turnovers as they committed 18 on the night which resulted in 24 Red Storm points.

In what was a see-saw battle for most of the game, DePaul could never get over a hump. At the end of the first half St. John's got a shot of momentum when leading scorer D'Angelo Harrison drilled a three-pointer as time expired to give the Red Storm a 37-35 lead heading into intermission.

After being down by nine points with 14:16 to go in the second half, DePaul made a run to get back into the game and took the lead with 8:35 to go when Jamee Crockett slammed home an alley-oop pass.

St. John's would then answer with a 6-0 run and would seize control of the game while capitalizing off the Demons mistakes.

St. John's had four players score in double figures with Harrison's 23 points leading the way. Fellow freshman Moe Harkless had a double-double with 14 points and 10 rebounds. Amir Garrett (18 points) and Phil Greene (10 points) also had solid nights for the Red Storm.

Cleveland Melvin had a fine night for DePaul, leading the team with 18 points to go with a career-high 15 rebounds. Brandon Young (17 points) and Crockett (15 points) also finished in double figures.

Notes:

- Saturday's game is both DePaul's homecoming game and also marks Hall of Fame weekend. Former Blue Demons Stanley Brundy and Terence Greene will be inducted into the school's Hall of Fame this weekend.

- Brundy and Greene Highlight Hall of Fame Weekend: Among the Hall of Fame inductees are men's basketball standouts Stanley Brundy and Terence Greene. The duo was an NCAA tournament fixture in their identical four-year careers (1985-89). Twice they helped the Blue Demons advance to the Sweet 16 and twice to the NCAA Second Round.

Brundy is the all-time leader in field goal percentage, fourth in steals, fifth in blocked shots, ninth in rebounds and 16th in points. Brundy averaged 19.5 points and 10.2 rebounds his senior year and is just one of four Blue Demons to average a double-double for a season. He was selected by the New Jersey Nets in the second round of the 1989 NBA Draft. Greene is second all-time in appearances, fourth in assists and minutes played and seventh in free throw attempts.

St. John's Roster

No. Name Yr. Pos. Ht. Wt. EXP Hometown/High School/Previous School

3 God's Gift Achiuwa SR Forward 6-8 233 1V Port Harcourt, R.S., Nigeria//Erie C.C. (N.Y.)

24 Felix Balamou FR Guard 6-4 188 H.S. Conakry, Guinea/Our Savior New American (N.Y.)

2 Marc-Antoine Bourgault JR Guard/Forward 6-6 209 J.C. Saint-Malo, France/Notre Dame Prep/Monroe College (N.Y.)

0 Jamal Branch SO Guard 6-3 176 Tr. Kansas City, Mo./Grace Preparatory Academy (Texas)/Texas A&M

22 Amir Garrett SO Guard/Forward 6-6 211 1V Los Angeles, Calif./Findlay Prep (Nev.)

1 Phil Greene IV SO Guard 6-2 182 1V Chicago, Ill./IMG Academy (Fla.)

11 D'Angelo Harrison SO Guard 6-3 209 1V Missouri City, Texas/Dulles

10 Max Hooper SO Guard/Forward 6-6 202 Tr. Carmel Valley, Calif./Brewster Academy (N.H.)/Harvard

4 Christian Jones FR Forward 6-7 222 H.S. Arlington, Texas/IMG Academy (Fla.)

23 David Lipscomb FR Guard 6-2 175 H.S. Riverdale, Ga./Wheeler

35 Khadim Ndiaye SO Forward 6-6 195 H.S. Queens, New York/Christ the King

12 Chris Obekpa FR Forward/Center 6-9 223 H.S. Makurdi, Benue State, Nigeria/Our Savior New American (N.Y.)

15 Sir'Dominic Pointer SO Guard/Forward 6-5 198 1V Detroit, Mich./Quality Education Academy (N.C.)

14 JaKarr Sampson FR Forward 6-8 204 H.S. Akron, Ohio/Brewster Academy (N.H.)

33 Orlando Sanchez SR Forward 6-9 214 J.C. Nagua, Dominican Republic/Colegio Nueva Luz/Monroe College (N.Y.)

40 Sam Sealy SO Forward 6-8 187 1V Medford, N.Y./Longwood

30 Jamal White SR Guard 6-4 206 2V Roosevelt, N.Y./Roosevelt/LIU


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