Game Preview: Dartmouth vs. a St. John's team looking to break a five-game skid

Bob DeChiara-USA TODAY Sports

St. John's Red Storm (9-8, 0-5) will finally put an end to their three games in five days stretch when they take on the Dartmouth Big Green (7-7, 0-1) from the Ivy League at Carnesecca Arena tonight. This will be the final non-conference game for both teams for season.

Tip off is slated for a 6 PM start and can be seen on Fox Sports 1. This contest will be called by announcers Justin Kutcher and Jim Spanarkel.

Scouting St. John's

For St. John's, this a game that really doesn't do much for their future.

If they do get a win, St. John's doesn't get the coveted first Big East win.

It also won't be a resume win even though the Johnnies chances of playing in the Big Dance are slim to none. This is a game they "should win."

Yet if St. John's does find a way to lose then that will simply be the nail in the coffin for fourth year head coach Steve Lavin and his 2013-2014 season. If Lavin and his team do come out on the winning side the only thing that it could give this team is a positive mindset and back on the winning track. After all, they don't have win in almost a month - last winning vs. the Ivy League's Columbia on Dec. 28 in the Barlclays Center.

Lavin did state how "extremely proud" he was because of his team's effort and the way they kept playing hard in a tough double overtime loss to Providence on Thursday. Lavin did throw out another different starting lineup, making it his ninth on the year.

Many fans and don't like the switching of the lineups, but one player that took advantage of his starting spot - the graduate student God`sgift Achiuwa. In 22 minutes played he scored 11 points with eight rebounds. On the defensive end he chipped in with two blocked shots and took a big charge in overtime. Basically, he took sophomore Chris Obekpa's minutes as he was recovering from food poisoning. I'd assume Obekpa would be able to go more tonight.

Scouting Dartmouth

Dartmouth is a team that shoots the ball very well. They rank 49th in the country with a 47.6% from the floor. Junior center Gabas Maldunas (12.1 points/ game, 8.8 rebounds/ game) leads the team in both scoring and rebounding being considered one of the best forwards in the Ivy League.

The Big Green entered the week 20th in the nation with a plus-7.4 rebound margin, and Maldunas is currently leading the country in defensive rebound percentage (.323). This will pose as a big threat to St. John's who also struggle to rebound at times. Providence dominated St. John's on the boards in the first half on Thursday night. Rebounding is a stat to watch tonight.

Sophomores Alex Mitola (10.7 points/ game, 38.7% 3-point shooting) and Connor Boehm (11.1 points/ game, 5.8 rebounds/ game) average double digit points as well for the Big Green.

Game Notes

Against Providence the usually good backcourt of Rysheed Jordan and D`Angelo Harrison combined for 14 points (all Harrison) on 4-17 shooting.

St. John's finished with 54 points in the paint against Providence. Tonight could be a battle inside.

St. John's in 9-3 all time vs. Dartmouth.

Dartmouth's Alex Mitola is among the Ivy League leaders in three-point field goal percentage (38.7%).

This is the first time Paul Cormier has coached a team against the Red Storm. He has been a head coach since 1984.

Prediction

St. John's 80 Dartmouth 67

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