The Men's team went 2-1 on the week, defeating Minnesota 70-61 in the NIT Preseason Semifinals last Wednesday before losing a 73-66 nail-biter to the 10th ranked Gonzaga Bulldogs on Friday night. Last night, despite some second half struggles, they were able to pull away from the lowly Niagara Purple Eagles for a 70-57 victory.
The high scorer on the week for the Red Storm was Phil Greene IV, who poured in 20 points against Gonzaga on Friday, including some clutch 3-pointers and an outstanding defensive play that gave St. John's a chance to tie the game with under a minute left.
Also of note was the play of D'Angelo Harrison during the NIT games, as the senior guard averaged 17 points and 7 rebounds over the two contests.
But with the good, there also comes the bad, and for St. John's this week Rysheed Jordan was the bad. Despite scoring 18 points in each of the NIT games, Jordan recorded 15 turnovers to just 4 assists in the two games, leading to his benching on Tuesday night's game in favor of Jamal Branch.
Despite Friday's loss, the Johnnies did receive some attention this week on the national stage, as they received votes in both the AP and Coaches poll on Monday.
The Week Ahead
This week sees the Red Storm travel all the way to the Carrier Dome in upstate New York on Saturday to take on "New York's College Team," the Syracuse Orange. Maybe the loser of that game should be banned from using the phrase for an entire year. It would be like a trophy.
The Orange come in at 5-2 and unranked on the year with their only losses coming to California and 17th-ranked Michigan. The Red Storm will be looking to take down their former conference rivals for the first time since January of 2007, and to win in the Carrier Dome for the first time since 1998.
After the big game at Syracuse on Saturday, the Red Storm return home for a matchup with the Fairleigh Dickinson Knights on Wednesday, December 10th.
The Women's team remains undefeated at 5-0 this season after wins this week over both Binghamton and Wagner. Led by their top two scorers, guards Aliyyah Handford and Danaejah Grant, the Red Storm are off to their first 5-0 start since 2009, and their best start under head coach Joe Tartamella.
The high scorer in the two games played for the Red Storm was Handford, who scored 21 in Sunday's 71-49 win over Wagner along with 19 in the 67-51 victory Friday over Binghamton. Senior forward Amber Thompson also recorded her first double-double of the season on Sunday, tallying 14 points and grabbing 10 rebounds.
After their undefeated start, the Red Storm also received some votes in this week's edition of the top 25 polls, getting two votes in the AP and 16 in the Coaches.
The Week Ahead
The week ahead sees St. John's playing in their first conference game of the season, as they'll face off with the Xavier Musketeers tonight at Carnesecca Arena. After that, they'll make the trip down to the Sunshine State on Saturday for a game against South Florida.
Harrison Makes Big East Honor Roll
Senior guard D'Angelo Harrison was also named to the Big East Honor Roll this past week after his stellar performance in the NIT Tournament. Harrison joins Butler's Kellen Dunham, DePaul's Myke Henry, Georgetown's D'Vauntes Smith-Rivera, and Villanova's Dylan Ennis among those selected.
Tweet of the Week
SB Nation blog Big East Coast Bias on the St. John's performance on Friday against Gonzaga:
This is game really is a microcosm of SJU basketball right now. Great at times, good at times, awful at times. What will it add up to 2night
— Big East Coast Bias (@becb_sbn) November 29, 2014