The St. John’s basketball program is looking to push its winning streak to six.
Coming off the biggest victory of the season, the St. John’s basketball team is looking to find the energy to defeat a struggling Providence Friar (9-9, 5-7 Big East) team.
The Red Storm (12-7, 6-6 Big East) are coming off of a Wednesday night victory over No. 3 Villanova while Providence went ice cold in the second half against Seton Hall, scoring 18 points in the second half, in a 17-point defeat.
St. John’s head coach Mike Anderson typically has a rule where his players must forget about its last game at midnight the day of the game, but due to the late tipoff time he let his players enjoy the win until 1:00am EST.
However, if you think those players flushed their biggest win of the season within two hours of the final buzzer, you’d be crazy.
The Johnnies are now on the bubble of the NCAA Tournament and the Friars, once a bubble team, are seeing its hopes of a postseason bid quickly vanish.
Ed Cooley’s team has lost three of its last four games but the Friars are always capable of springing an upset like what happened on the road against the Creighton Blue Jays on January 20, 74-70.
St. John’s basketball must bring defensive focus
Freshman guard Posh Alexander was the star in the victory over the Wildcats for his defense against Collin Gillespie but he could be paired up with another star guard in David Duke.
Duke has struggled in his last two games, combining for 11 points on 4-of-19 shooting and 1-of-6 from three-point range but the junior guard has the ability to catch fire at anytime as he is posting 17.9 points per game.
St. John’s is also going to need its forwards like Josh Roberts, Isaih Moore, and Marcellus Earlington to play a big role on the defensive end with Providence senior center Nate Watson controlling the paint.
Watson averages 17.2 points and 6.8 rebounds per game.
Saturday’s matchup feels a lot like last weekends battle against Marquette where St. John’s was the road team, playing much better than its opponent, and facing a team who desperately needed a win.
They say history repeats itself, right?
St. John’s and the Friars will tipoff at 2:00pm EST (Fox Sports 1) inside Alumni Hall on the campus of Providence College, the first time the Johnnies are playing in the building since 1972.
PREDICTION: St. John’s 68, Providence 63