Men’s Basketball Preview: Tuesday February 18 9:00 PM ET Butler @ St. John’s
As St. John’s (17-9, 7-6) prepares on yet another snowy day to go up against the Butler Bulldogs (12-13, 2-11) the Johnnies cannot allow their recent success – five straight victories and 8-of-9 wins since the 2OT loss to Providence – to be a distraction. Tonight’s game can easily become a “trap game” as Butler will be looking for the upset victory. St. John’s won the previous meeting back on January 23rd 69-52 at Hinkle Fieldhouse. A win tonight against Butler will set up a turn back the clock rivalry game against long time Big East rival, current Big East 2nd place team and nationally ranked #9 Villanova (22-3, 10-2) on Saturday.
Keys to the game:
- Rebound – St. John’s must control the glass and not allow Butler to get 2nd chance basket. Chris Obekpa and the front court will have to box out and keep the Bulldogs from getting easy 2nd chance opportunities.
- Perimeter Defense – Do not allow Butler to shoot a high percentage from the 3 point line and make life difficult for leading scorer Kellen Dunham (16.8 ppg). RySheed Jordan, JaKarr Sampson and Sir’Dominic Pointer will need to stay out of foul trouble and use their length to disrupt the Bulldogs.
- Guard play –D’Angelo Harrison (named to the Big East Conference Honor Roll) and RySheed Jordan (2nd consecutive Big East Rookie of the Week) are playing at a high level and must continue to do so by limiting turnover and making smart decisions with the ball in their hands.
- 40 minutes – St. John’s can’t let their guard down and will need to play a complete game from start to finish against a Butler team that will be looking for an upset victory in the Garden.
Women’s Basketball Preview: Tuesday February 18 7:00 PM ET #22 St. John’s @ Georgetown
Fresh off being named the Big East Player of the Week sophomore guard Aliyyah Handford (16.2 ppg) and the young Johnnies (19-5, 12-1) look to extend their winning streak to 12 games against Georgetown (8-18, 2-12). After moving up 2 spots in the Associated Press Top 25 the Red Storm must guard against looking ahead to Sunday’s matchup against third place Creighton (15-10, 9-4).
Keys to the game:
- Rebound – The Hoya’s had 16 2nd chance points in their first meeting and were +10 over St. Johns in 2nd chance points. Junior forward Amber Thompson (9.0 RPG) will need to continue her strong rebounding efforts coming off a career-high 17 rebounds in the win over Villanova.
- Free Throws – St. John’ has to remain aggressive getting to the line and making their free throws at a high percentage and taking advantage their opportunities.
- Fast start – St. John’s won a close game 66-63 in their previous meeting and with this game being played on the road it will be to the Johnnies benefit to start quickly and build a lead against a Hoya team that has been in disarray all season.