St. John’s basketball smartly uses last non-league game, hosts Utah Valley

St. John's basketball head coach Mike Anderson (David Butler II-USA TODAY Sports)
St. John's basketball head coach Mike Anderson (David Butler II-USA TODAY Sports) /

St. John’s basketball properly utilized its final non-conference game in scheduling a matchup with Utah Valley. 

Given the NCAA’s restrictions in playing non-conference games this season, the St. John’s basketball program did the correct thing holding onto its last game for as long as possible.

That patience has developed into a spur-of-the-moment game against Utah Valley (5-5, 3-0 WAC) in Queens on Saturday afternoon.

The Red Storm (8-7, 3-6 Big East) are coming off of a game in which they defeated the No. 23 UConn Huskies, its first ranked victory over the season, on Monday afternoon.

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However, had a game not been scheduled, the Johnnies would not have played for 10 days as their next scheduled game was against the DePaul Blue Demons on Wednesday, January 27.

Utah Valley was also in the midst of a long pause, not having another game slated until Friday, January 29 after last playing on Friday, January 15.

St. John’s last non-conference game was against Rider on December 8, an 82-79 victory for the Red Storm.

Mike Anderson‘s team only suffered one loss in non-league play, a neutral site matchup against BYU, a team that Utah Valley also was defeated by this season.

St. John’s basketball wants to play instead of resting

Following the program’s win over the Huskies, freshman guard Posh Alexander expressed his desire to keep playing instead of heading into a 10-day break.

“It is good, but I wish we could stay in the gym and get a couple more games in because we are already going,” Alexander said of the pending break.

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The Brooklyn, New York native did not practice ahead of the matchup with UConn because of a back injury suffered in the loss to Marquette, an injury that was aggravated in the victory over the Huskies.

Junior guard Greg Williams Jr. also suffered a back injury in the win on Monday afternoon, only playing six minutes, none of which in the second half.

Tipoff between St. John’s and Utah Valley is scheduled for 4:00pm EST (Fox Sports 1) on Saturday, January 23 inside Carnesecca Arena.

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