St. John’s basketball will be looking for another victory on Saturday afternoon against Marquette.
The outlook of the St. John’s basketball season has already changed following the Red Storm’s victory over Butler on Tuesday night.
Now the Johnnies have a chance to firmly cement themselves as contenders in the middle of a crowded Big East Conference.
However, slowing down the Marquette Golden Eagles will be no small task for Mike Anderson‘s group, who is coming off its best defensive effort of the season against the Bulldogs.
Marquette is led by the Preseason Big East Freshman of the Year in Dawson Garcia who stands at 6-foot-11, 230 pounds and averages 13.5 points and 7.5 rebounds per game.
Senior guard Koby McEwen, who is trying to fill the shoes of Markus Howard, is holding his own as the lead guard for the Golden Eagles, averaging 13.1 points per game, shooting 43.7-percent from the field and 40.0-percent from 3-point range.
Marquette entered Big East play with the most confidence out of any team in the league with wins over No. 4 Wisconsin and on the road against No. 9 Creighton but struggled following those wins with losses in four of its next five games and needed a 20-point comeback to defeat Georgetown.
The Golden Eagles have since defeated Providence in its latest matchup against Providence.
St. John’s basketball must stick to what worked against Butler
Those five players started against Butler due to the suspension of Isaih Moore whose status is still questionable ahead of Saturday’s matchup.
As always, the biggest key for the Johnnies will be to create turnovers with its full court press and speed up Marquette into making uncharacteristic turnovers, averaging 13.5 turnovers per game.
St. John’s saw tremendous success with its full court pressure defense against the Golden Eagles last season at Madison Square Garden before having to hold on for a nail-biting victory.
The Red Storm will be looking for back-to-back wins for the first time since December 6 and December 8 when the team defeated Stony Brook and Rider.
A 3-5 conference record makes the team feel a lot better and more confident about itself than a 2-6 record.
Tipoff is scheduled for 12:00pm EST (Fox Sports 1) inside Carnesecca Arena in Queens, New York.
PREDICTION: St. John’s 71, Marquette 65