Jan. 1, 2018
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The Last Meeting
February 28, 2017
Omaha, Neb. (CenturyLink Center Omaha)
St. John's Falls to Creighton, 82-68
Looking for its first win in Nebraska since Creighton joined the BIG EAST for the 2013-14 season, the Red Storm proved unable to overcome an early Bluejay run, as the Johnnies fell, 82-68, in front of 17,006 fans at CenturyLink Center Omaha on Tuesday night.
QUEENS, N.Y. - Before returning home for three-straight games, the St. John's men's basketball team travels to Omaha for a Wednesday night showdown with RV/No. 24 Creighton (11-3, 1-1). Tip off at CenturyLink Center Omaha is scheduled for 8 p.m. eastern with the national telecast airing on FS1.
FOX Sports announcers Justin Kutcher and Nick Bahe will call the BIG EAST matchup between the Johnnies and Bluejays. St. John's IMG Radio Broadcast with John Minko and Brian Mahoney can be heard on 570 AM WMCA or through TuneIn Radio.
St. John's (10-4, 0-2) aims to begin the New Year on a high note, as the squad is still hungry for its first BIG EAST victory of the season. After winning 10 of 12 non-conference games, four of which were away from home, the shorthanded Johnnies dropped their first two league contests of the season.
Most recently, the Red Storm delivered a valiant effort in Sunday's setback at No. 23/24 Seton Hall, 75-70, which came down to the wire despite playing without its top two scorers, Shamorie Ponds (20.1 ppg) and Marcus LoVett (14.9 ppg), who missed the game due to injuries. In their absence, several other Johnnies rose to the occasion against the Pirates, as Tariq Owens (19 points, 14 rebounds) and Justin Simon (15 points, 10 assists) each put forth career performances with double doubles, while Marvin Clark II chipped in 18 points and Bashir Ahmed tallied 16. Clark and Ahmed also combined for seven of the team's nine 3-pointers.
Wednesday's matchup with Creighton will be another challenging test for the St. John's defense, which has been a cornerstone to its success this season. The Red Storm's defensive tenacity has forced foes into 18.5 turnovers per game while opponents have committed more turnovers than St. John's in 12 of 14 contests. Contrastingly, the Bluejays have possessed the ball well this season and rank among the nation's leaders with just 10.9 turnovers per game. In addition, St. John's leads the BIG EAST allowing just 65.9 points per game compared to Creighton's high-octane scoring offense that has produced 91.1 points per contest, the fourth-highest average in the nation.
On the offensive end of the floor, St. John's will look to lean on the solid play of late by the trio of Clark, Owens and Simon. Clark, who ranks in the top-5 of the BIG EAST in free-throw and three-point shooting, is averaging a team-high 19.0 points per game in BIG EAST play. Since entering the starting lineup on Dec. 2, Owens has averaged 11.0 points and is shooting 65.3 percent from the field over the last seven games to go along with 7.3 rebounds and 4.0 blocks. Simon has flirted with a triple-double in two of the past three games and has been the team's top facilitator averaging 8.0 assists during this stretch.
Creighton enters the matchup having won six of its last seven games and owns a perfect 9-0 record at home this season. The Bluejays are coming off an 83-64 victory over Providence on Sunday at CenturyLink Center Omaha behind an 18-point performance from Marcus Foster.
St. John's has dropped eight of 15 all-time meetings with the Bluejays in a series that dates back to 1961. The Johnnies enter Wednesday's matchup looking to snap a four-game skid against Creighton with its first win in Omaha since becoming BIG EAST counterparts.
After facing Creighton, the Red Storm returns to Carnesecca Arena on Saturday to take on DePaul at 2 p.m. on FSN.