St. John’s basketball renews local rivalry thanks to COVID-19 scheduling

St. John's basketball (Mandatory Credit: Brad Penner-USA TODAY Sports)
St. John's basketball (Mandatory Credit: Brad Penner-USA TODAY Sports) /

The St. John’s basketball program is renewing a local rivalry thanks to scheduling forced by the pandemic.

A New York rivalry is finally coming back to the court as the St. John’s Red Storm will host the Fordham Rams this season in Queens.

The game was first reported by CBS Sports’ college basketball insider Jon Rothstein as the game will be held on December 8.

St. John’s has played Fordham the 62 times over the all-time series between the two programs, the ninth most played opponent in Red Storm history.

The Johnnies have a 51-11 record against the Rams, with the last game coming eight years to the day of its last matchup, December 8, 2016 where St. John’s came away with a 90-62 victory.

However, the meeting prior to the Red Storm victory, was one of the wins by Fordham in the rivalry as the Rams defeated the Johnnies at Rose Hill, 73-57.

The two teams had played every season from 2009-2016 but have yet to take the floor together since that last St. John’s win.

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Fans of both programs can thank the COVID-19 pandemic and desire to schedule local teams for the meeting between the two as it’s very unlikely that St. John’s and Fordham would have scheduled a game in the 2020-21 season under normal circumstances.

Fordham is coming off of a 9-22 (2-16 Atlantic 10) season and the Rams have not put together a winning season since the 2015-16 season, in which they last beat the Red Storm.

Scheduling Fordham now gives head coach Mike Anderson and St. John’s six non-conference games with one open slot remaining as the NCAA is only allowing teams to play in seven non-league games.

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The Red Storm will play three games in a multi-team event in Queens with La Salle, Manhattan, and Bryant, as well as traveling to face Texas Tech in the Big East vs. Big 12 Challenge, and hosting Sacred Heat and Fordham.

Prior to the changes in the college basketball schedule, St. John’s reportedly agreed to host NJIT so it remains to be seen if that will be the final non-conference game of the schedule for the Red Storm or if they will try and find another power conference local team.