Men's College Basketball
Preview
St. Mary's at St. John's
When: 7:00 PM ET, Friday, December 19, 2014
Where: Carnesecca Arena, Queens, New York

St. John's will put its rare national ranking and solid defense to the test Friday at home against a high-scoring Saint Mary's squad. Including the win at Syracuse on Dec. 6 that helped vault the Red Storm into the top 25 for the first time since 2011, Steve Lavin's squad has won four in a row while holding each foe to 57 points or fewer. Rysheed Jordan scored 24 points, D'Angelo Harrison had 22 and St. John's forced 20 turnovers in a 74-53 win over Fordham in Madison Square Garden on Sunday.

The Rams shot 38.8 percent against a St. John's team that entered Thursday ranked 25th in the country in field-goal percentage defense (36.8). The Gaels, who defeated St. John's in Lavin's debut with the school on Nov. 15, 2010, will provide a good challenge, having eclipsed the 70-point mark in each of their eight games and already posting a road win against a Big East team Saturday at Creighton. Brad Wadlow recorded his fourth straight double-double with 25 points and 15 rebounds but Saint Mary's gave up four points in the closing seconds in a 73-71 home loss to Northern Arizona on Tuesday.

TV: 7 p.m. ET, Fox Sports 1

ABOUT SAINT MARY'S (6-2): Head coach Randy Bennett has leaned heavily on a handful of players, as guards Emmett Naar and Aaron Bright both rank in the top 20 in the country in minutes per game and two others (Waldow and guard Kerry Carter) play at least 32 minutes. The recent emergence of forward Dane Pineau should help spread the wealth, as the sophomore has established new career highs in scoring while playing 29 minutes in each of his last two games. Pineau, who shot a combined 12-of-16 in the breakout efforts, had appeared in a total of 67 minutes through the Gaels' first six contests.

ABOUT ST. JOHN'S (8-1): Harrison has won the Big East Player of the Week two straight times as his early-season roll gets more impressive each time out. He is averaging 24 points on 57.9 percent shooting over his last three games while making 8-of-18 3-pointers and all 20 of his free throws. The senior has also showcased an exceptional ability to take care of the basketball for someone who has it in his hands so often; Harrison has three total turnovers in 141 minutes over his last four games, and while he leads the Big East in minutes per game (34.9), he is only tied for fourth on his own team in giveaways.

TIP-INS


1. Waldow is averaging 21.8 points and 12.5 rebounds during his streak of double-doubles.

2. St. John's is 6-0 as the home team, including 5-0 at Carnesecca Arena, the sight of Friday's game.

3. Jordan has 17 steals in his last seven games.

PREDICTION: St. John's 78, Saint Mary's 68
Stats and Records
Team Comparison
  W/L Strk Home Away Neutral Day Night Conf
St. Mary's 6-2 L1 5-2 1-0 0-0 1-0 5-2 0-0
St. John's 8-1 W4 5-0 1-0 2-1 2-0 6-1 0-0
Last Meeting
St. Mary's St. John's
Date Away Home Pts Reb FG% Pts Reb FG%
11/15/10 SJU 71 SMC 76 76 29 45.7 71 30 40.0
Player Stats
Previous Matchup
Points Player Total FG% FTM
St. Mary's C. Steindl 22 58.3 1
St. John's D. Polee II 16 37.5 2
Rebounds Player Total Off Def
St. Mary's T. Williams 8 2 6
St. John's J. Burrell 7 2 5
Assists Player  
St. Mary's M. Dellavedova 9
St. John's M. Boothe 2
Season
Points Player Total FG% FTM
St. Mary's B. Waldow 173 57.0 43
St. John's D. Harrison 177 43.7 53
Rebounds Player Total Off Def
St. Mary's B. Waldow 86 28 58
St. John's C. Obekpa 82 27 55
Assists Player  
St. Mary's E. Naar 50
St. John's R. Jordan 30
Quickchart Matchup
St. Mary's Off vs  St. John's Defense
75.4 Points For
58.0 Points Against
47.2 FG%
35.8 FG%
35.9 Reb
33.4 Reb
St. John's Off vs  St. Mary's Defense
70.8 Points For
68.6 Points Against
44.5 FG%
43.2 FG%
33.4 Reb
26.3 Reb