St. John’s had the reverse match against UConn on their scheduled, but a COVID case from a referee covering their game last week led to a short pause (even though their opponent, Butler, did not do any kind of pause).
That led the Big East to move up the game against Marquette to today, and the Red Storm find themselves back in the Midwest for the second time this week. The last trip, a road win over DePaul, was a fairly comprehensive victory, despite allowing many offensive rebounds and shots at the rim.
Marquette defeated St. John’s in Queens, however, and should be a tougher out. The Golden Eagles have lost two straight — to DePaul at home and against Providence on the road, so expect them to play with fire and desperation.
Who: St. John’s Red Storm (10-7, 4-6 Big East) vs. Marquette Golden Eagles (8-8, 4-6 Big East)
When: Sunday, January 31, 2021, 3:30 PM
Where: Fiserv Arena, Milwaukee, IL
Recapping last game:
Julian Champagnie went off in a stretch with 15 straight points to give St. John’s the lead — after they had been down double digits into the second half. St. John’s fought but couldn’t get enough stops, and the game ended with Rasheem Dunn trying to score on Theo John and missing.
St. John’s was 13/29 at the rim. In a 2-point loss, five players missed one free throw each. Small in the moment, but those points change the game. The johnnies also attempted five of their 14 free throws in the second half.
St. John’s allowed 11 offensive rebounds, but also grabbed 16 offensive boards of their own (including team rebounds).
Marquette turned the ball over on 27% of their possessions. The Johnnies’ pressure was effective. On the other hand, seven of the Red Storm’s 11 turnovers were steals, meaning that Marquette got some live ball scoring opportunities against the Red Storm in transition
St. John’s had 19 assists, assisting on 73% of their made shots; the team had 14 assists on 16 made shots in the second half (and took a far higher percentage of shots at the rim vs in the mid-range or from three). Marquette had 12 assists — 46% of their shots. In other words, St. John’s had some offensive flow and Marquette had to create on their own.
Three up, St. John’s
Julian Champagnie struggled at the rim but ended up leading the team with 20 points. Champagnie, defended by the likes of Greg Elliott, will want to put his stamp on the game earlier and draw Marquette’s defensive attention.
Posh Alexander had five steals and eight assists to go with nine points (and four turnovers). Alexander and St. John’s can take advantage of the turnover-prone Golden Eagles; five Eagles had three or more turnovers in the game.
Greg Williams Jr. scored 15 and had two steals. He has been sidelined with a back injury. Who can replace his production? Dylan Addae-Wusu and Vince Cole have to fill in the gaps, and make open shots as Williams does in halfcourt sets.
Three down, St. John’s
Vince Cole had some tough turnovers and shot 2/8 — including a missed dunk and 1⁄4 at the rim. He has struggled against higher-quality opponents, but scored 18 against DePaul. In Williams’ absence, his scoring is needed.
Marcellus Earlington had little impact in the game, going 2/5 for five points and struggling to get to rebounds. When he can get his outside game going, he helps draw taller defenders away from the basket; St. John’s could use that against Marquette.
Dylan Addae-Wusu fouled out for the fifth game this season (he has played in 17). In the last three games he has managed to play his defense while fouling only twice per game.
On Marquette, watch for...
Justin Lewis was hard to stop. Along with his 13 points, he had three offensive rebounds and was a big presence inside, going 4/5 on twos and drawing six free throw attempts. His defense was also very good.
DJ Carton had no assists, but led the team with 14 points and three steals.
Dawson Garcia — likely competing for Posh Alexander for Big East’s Freshman of the Year award — has struggled in Marquette’s last two games, but was strong offensively against the Red Storm. The Johnnies need to make him confused — and not allow the 6’11” highly-recruited forward to show his full array of scoring tools.
St. John’s pulls off a road win, 79-76.