The annual Ugly Sweater Night at Carnesecca Area usually signals the last non-conference game for St. John’s before Big East play begins, but that won’t be the case Saturday.
The Johnnies will have two more non-conference tilts remaining following the their match-up with Youngstown St. this weekend. The Red Storm will have a tuneup next Saturday at the Barclays Center against Columbia in the Brooklyn Hoops Winter Festival and will welcome Dartmouth to Queens in mid-January.
Saturday marks the fourth official Ugly Sweater Night at St. John’s, but we know the ole’ ball coach Louie wore them for years on the bench at what was then Alumni Hall, Madison Square Garden, and up and down the East Coast.
In the promotion’s brief history, St. John’s is 2-1. Carnesecca Arena didn’t host an Ugly Sweater Night in 2010 as the Johnnies played their final two non-conference games in the Holiday Festival at the Garden.
December 23, 2009: St. John’s 80, Bryant College 44
This game started what has quickly become a yearly tradition at St. John’s. The promotion started in conjunction with the university celebrating the 25th anniversary of the Redmen’s 1985 Final Four run. With this particular game happening two days before Christmas, what better way to celebrate than to wear an ugly holiday sweater as a salute to Lou Carnesecca?
December 21, 2011: St. John’s 66, Texas-Pan American 61
St. John’s erased an eight-point halftime deficit as God’sgift Achiuwa scored a game-high 22 points.
St. John’s scored 20 points off UTPA turnovers in the second half to overcome the halftime disadvantage.
December 21, 2012: UNC-Asheville 72, St. John’s 65
We here at the Rumble always warn our readers that games at Carnesecca Arena aren’t always a given for St. John’s. UNC-Asheville came into this contest at 4-7 and didn’t let a 10-point first-half deficit get them down as they came back for the big win, their first against a Big East team.
St. John’s led by as many as 17 points in the first half, and then by as many as 15 to begin the second half. Then, UNC-Asheville began to chip away at the lead.
The Bulldogs eventually outplayed St. John’s in many aspects of the game: they out rebounded the Johnnies 40-30 (including 13-7 on offensive rebounds), held the advantage in the paint 44-28 and overwhelmed on second-chance points 17-4.
D’Angelo Harrison led the way for St. John’s with 24 points while Jakarr Sampson added 17.
Note: Fans can save 50% off an upper level ticket and pay just $15 for admission into Saturday's game when St. John's welcomes Youngstown St. Fans are also welcomed to donate a coat or unwrapped toy outside the Carnesecca Arena ticket office before the game. All donations will benefit the St. John's University Bread and Life Sponsor-A-Family program.