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Week in Review: an undefeated week for St. John's basketball

Both the Men's and Women's teams went 2-0 this week, upping their combined record to 14-1 on the season. The Men's team received national recognition with a top 25 ranking, while the Women's team continues to creep closer to the top 25.

Anthony Gruppuso-USA TODAY Sports

Men's Basketball

The Men's team completed an undefeated week with a 74-52 blowout victory over the Fairleigh Dickinson Knights last night. The week began for the Red Storm on Saturday night with a huge 69-57 victory in the Carrier Dome over their former conference rivals, the Syracuse Orange, but you probably have already heard about that by now.

For the 7-1 Red Storm, the high scorer on the week was D'Angelo Harrison with 26 points against FDU last night. Harrison also poured in 24 points and four 3-pointers in the victory over Syracuse on Saturday. After a relatively slow start in the 3-point shooting department, Harrison made 6 of 13 this past week and appears to be right back on track.

Also worth noting was the play of senior guard Phil Greene IV during the two games this week. Greene almost singlehandedly willed the Red Storm to a victory with his late 3-point heroics at Syracuse on Saturday, and continued his hot streak last night by shooting 7 for 15 and scoring 16 points.

Forwards Sir'Dominic Pointer and Chris Obekpa also had stellar weeks for the Johnnies. Aside from the various highlight-reel plays that each of them had the last two games, they have each put up impressive numbers statistically, with Obekpa recording a double-double last night (10 points, 12 rebounds, 6 blocks), and Pointer contributing greatly to the win at Syracuse with 9 points, 8 rebounds, and 5 assists.

Oh yeah, if you somehow haven't heard by now, the St. John's Red Storm are ranked nationally for the first time in four years, coming in at 24th overall in the AP Poll after that huge victory over Niagara last Tuesday night.

The Week Ahead

The only game for the Red Storm this week will be against Fordham at Madison Square Garden this Sunday afternoon at 2 P.M. In their first official home game at the Garden this season, St. John's will take on a 3-4 Fordham team that they beat by 46 points at a similar point in the season last year. But the Rams were able to keep things relatively close on the road at 19th-ranked Maryland earlier this season, losing 66-50, so they shouldn't be taken too lightly on Sunday.

Looking further down the road, St. John's will host St. Mary's in a very interesting matchup next Friday, December 19th at Carnesecca Arena.

Women's Basketball

The Women's team improved their record to 7-0 to start the season with wins this week over Xavier last Wednesday and at South Florida on Sunday. In an early-season Big East opener, the Red Storm were able to easily dispatch of the Musketeers with a 65-42 victory. They then traveled to Tampa, Florida to defeat the USF Bulls in a tight game, 55-52.

For St. John's it was again their prolific guard duo of Aliyyah Handford and Danaejah Grant who were the big contributors in both victories this week. It was Grant who lead the way over Xavier with 23 points and 5 rebounds, while Handford would take over in the close win against USF, scoring 25 points while grabbing 6 rebounds and recording 4 steals. Grant and Handford would combine for 42 of the Red Storm's 55 points in Sunday's victory.

St. John's again narrowly missed the top 25 rankings for the second straight week, as they finished 27th in the AP Poll and 26th in the USA Today Coaches Poll.

The Week Ahead

The Red Storm will look to propel themselves into the top 25 rankings this week after they take on Central Florida tonight at 7 P.M. at Carnesecca Arena before a matinee this Sunday against NJIT at 2 P.M.

Johnnies Take Home Weekly Awards

It was also a big week for the Red Storm in the awards category, with D'Angelo Harrison being named the Big East Player of the Week on Monday, and Aliyyah Handford being named to the Big East Women's Honor Roll for the third straight week.

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