Enough about trap games and continuing to build momentum…because St. John’s (18-9, 8-6) has arrived. They put their 6 game winning streak on the line heading into their matchup against #9 Villanova (23-3, 11-2) Saturday at 1:30 PM. St. John’s is seeking their second signature win of the season, as they continue to make their case for a NCAA berth.
As they enter tomorrow’s match up, St. John’s is a different team than they were when they lost 74-67 to Villanova back on January 11. They are more disciplined on defense, committing less fouls and clearing rebounds, while offensively they are playing more aggressively without being out of control. It will be interesting to see how Freshman Rysheed Jordan, nicknamed “The Prince of North Philly,” handles the pressure of playing in his former stomping ground in front of a hostile Philadelphia crowd. Keeping Ryan Arcidiacono (10 PPG, 3.8 APG), James Bell (16.1 PPG, 6 RPG) and Darrun Hilliard (13.6 PPG, 3.7 RPG, 2.8 APG) in check will be a critical challenge for evolving St. John’s backcourt.
With Chris Obekpa’s ankle injury and his status in doubt, along with Orlando Sanchez being out due to the birth of his daughter, the Red Storm could be without their top 2 shot blockers and 2nd and 3rd leading rebounders. Jakarr Sampson and God’sGift Achiuwa will have to come up big, and the lack of front court depth may force Sir’Dominic Pointer to guard some of Villanova’s front court players.
At this point in the season, there are no excuses and no moral victories. The Red Storm will need to bring their best effort Saturday to leave Wells Fargo Arena victorious.
What St. John’s Athletics has going on this weekend:
-#22 St. John’s (19-6, 12-2) women’s basketball team will be at Creighton (16-10, 10-4) on Sunday at 3:00 trying to rebound from an ugly road loss to Georgetown.
-St. John’s will be playing 3 games as they take part in the ODU Baseball Tournament in Norfolk, Virginia.
-2/21 Final Score: Old Dominion 3 – St. John’s 0, as losing pitcher James Lomangino pitches 7.0 IP, 7 H, 3ER, 2BB, 4K.
-Saint Joseph’s Saturday at 12:00 P.M.
-Kentucky Sunday at 11:00 A.M.
-#19/18 St. John’s @ #13 Yale at 1:30 P.M.
-St. John’s will be trying to win for the first time in New Haven in their fourth meeting and will be hoping to pull the road upset, as they look to win their second consecutive win against Yale Bulldogs.
-St. John’s will be at the Temple Invitational on Saturday 2/22