DePaul Blue Demons (11-18, 3-13) vs. St. John's Red Storm (18-11, 8-8) – Sunday, March 2nd, 11 a.m. Central – Madison Square Garden, New York, NY
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Fresh off a 65-60 victory on Tuesday night at home over Seton Hall and thus snapping their 10-game losing streak, the DePaul Blue Demons (11-18, 3-13) will look to make it two games in a row with a win when they visit the Big Apple to take on the St. John's Red Storm (18-11, 8-8) at Madison Square Garden on Sunday afternoon.
Although the Red Storm dropped their latest game to Xavier on Tuesday, 65-53 at home, this is a team that has still won nine out of their last 12 games after starting the season 0-5 in the Big East. With the Red Storm on the fringes of postseason play, they should come with a lot of effort in this affair in what has to be considered a must win for the team.
Considering St. Johns lost the last time these two teams met, losing 77-75 at the All State Arena back on January 14, the Red Storm will certainly be looking for some payback.
Collectively, this St. John's team is as good as any team in the conference with the talent they possess. They can go 10-deep and have the athletes to make it a tough afternoon. Especially when you factor in they lead the Big East in scoring defense (limiting teams to 65.9 points a game) and field goal percent defense (.405). They also lead the Big East in blocked shots, averaging a healthy 7.2 swats a game while also coming in second in steals (6.7 per game).
Leading the way for the Red Storm is top scorer D'Angelo Harrison, who is averaging 17.3 points per game (which is third in the Big East). However, he is coming off a terrible performance against Xavier in which he scored only four points on 1-11 shooting. Harrison also banged his knee hard late in the game, but he should be fine for this contest.
St. John's also gets double-digit scoring from Jakarr Sampson, who chips in with 12.3 points a game. Sampson also leads the Red Storm with 6.2 rebounds a game.
What could be an interesting battle to watch is the matchup at point guard between two exciting freshmen in Rysheed Jordan of St. John's and DePaul's Billy Garrett Jr. Both players are in a fight to be honored as Freshman of the Year in the Big East.
Garrett Jr. (12.4 ppg & 3.2 apg) and Jordan (9 ppg & 3 apg) are first and second in both scoring and assists among Big East freshmen. If these two young men stick around for a long time, this could be the beginning of a great rivalry. Garrett Jr. likely leads in the race for Big East Freshman of the Year based on the fact he has bagged five weekly honors as top freshmen of the week, while Jordan has earned the award three times.
With not much more than pride to play for, DePaul can play the ultimate spoiler by effectively ending St. John's NCAA Tournament hopes by sweeping the season series. St. John's will have something to say about that and it should be an interesting game between two teams with a different set of agendas.
The Last Time
On January 14, 2014 at Allstate Arena, the Blue Demons prevailed 77-75 over St. John's.
The game was a see-saw battle that featured 16 times where the score was tied up.
D'Angelo Harrison led all scorers and the Red Storm with 24 points.
Freshman guard Rysheed Jordan added 16 points and Orlando Sanchez contributed with 11 points for St. John's.
DePaul freshman Billy Garrett Jr. led the Blue Demons with 21 points and five assists, while his backcourt mate Brandon Young scored 19 points and had five assists.
Four Blue Demons reached double-figures. Cleveland Melvin added 16 points and seven rebounds, while Tommy Hamilton IV chipped in with 13 points.
St. John's Roster
No. Name Yr. Pos. Ht. Wt. EXP Hometown/High School/Previous School
3 God's Gift Achiuwa GS Forward 6-8 230 1V Port Harcourt, R.S., Nigeria//Erie C.C. (N.Y.)
24 Felix Balamou SO Guard 6-4 199 1V Conakry, Guinea/Our Savior New American (N.Y.)
2 Marc-Antoine Bourgault SR Guard/Forward 6-7 206 1V Saint-Malo, France/Notre Dame Prep/Monroe College (N.Y.)
0 Jamal Branch JR Guard 6-3 175 1V Kansas City, Mo./Grace Preparatory Academy (Texas)/Texas A&M
1 Phil Greene IV JR Guard 6-2 189 2V Chicago, Ill./IMG Academy (Fla.)
11 D'Angelo Harrison JR Guard 6-4 204 2V Missouri City, Texas/Dulles
10 Max Hooper SO Guard/Forward 6-6 206 Tr. Carmel Valley, Calif./Brewster Academy (N.H.)/Harvard
4 Christian Jones SO Forward 6-7 225 1V Arlington, Texas/IMG Academy (Fla.)
23 Rysheed Jordan FR Guard 6-4 185 H.S. Philadelphia, Pa./Roberts Vaux
5 David Lipscomb SO Guard 6-2 175 1V Riverdale, Ga./Wheeler
35 Khadim Ndiaye JR Forward 6-6 195 1V Queens, New York/Christ the King
12 Chris Obekpa SO Forward/Center 6-9 240 1V Makurdi, Benue State, Nigeria/Our Savior New American (N.Y.)
15 Sir'Dominic Pointer JR Guard/Forward 6-5 196 2V Detroit, Mich./Quality Education Academy (N.C.)
14 JaKarr Sampson SO Forward 6-9 214 1V Akron, Ohio/Brewster Academy (N.H.)
33 Orlando Sanchez SR Forward 6-9 232 J.C. Nagua, Dominican Republic/Colegio Nueva Luz/Monroe College (N.Y.)
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