St. John's (6-2) at San Francisco (4-1) (ET)
GAME NOTES: Winners of four straight, the San Francisco Dons receive a visit from the St. John's Red Storm in non-conference action at War Memorial Gym on Tuesday night.
Since opening the 2012-13 campaign with a 74-62 setback versus Stanford at Oracle Arena in Oakland, the Dons have not fallen back into the loss column. The most recent outing for USF took place last Friday with the team taking out Montana in a 78-68 final in this same building.
Meanwhile, the Red Storm have also put together a four-game win streak of their own, following back-to-back defeats at the hands of Murray State and Baylor during the Charleston Classic at TD Arena in the middle of November. St. John's has played every home game thus far at Carnesecca Arena in Queens, the latest of those being a 57-49 victory versus NJIT on Saturday.
The Red Storm lead the all-time series with USF by a count of 4-2, capturing a 92-77 win in the most recent meeting back on New Year's Eve in 2000.
In a game that saw seven ties and 10 lead changes, the Red Storm found themselves trailing at home against NJIT by as many as 14 points early in the second half, but the hosts put on a tough defensive display the remainder of the way as they picked up the eight-point win. More than anything, it was the fact that NJIT was held to a total of just six field goals after the break, shooting a mere 1-of-9 beyond the arc, that made the difference. D'Angelo Harrison managed to pile up 21 points for St. John's, while JaKarr Sampson registered a double-double with 15 points and a massive 17 rebounds, but there was still a matter of the team's awful shooting from all over the floor. Particularly disturbing was the unit's hideous 11-of-29 effort at the free- throw line. Harrison, the leading scorer in all but two of the team's outings, has been doing well at the charity line himself, connecting on 36-of-43 (.837), en route to his 21.8 ppg, but the team overall is making good on just 61.9 percent at the line. Sampson (12.5 ppg) is now grabbing 7.0 rpg to pace the group, while Chris Obekpa (4.6 ppg, 4.3 rpg) could be the most influential player in the paint with his 35 blocked shots in eight games off the bench.
The Dons shot just 1-of-4 at the free-throw line in the first half against Montana, yet still managed to put together a 30-24 edge at the break. In the second half San Francisco seemingly lived at the charity stripe, connecting on 20-of-33 opportunities in order to build a double-digit lead and win by 10 at home. Cole Dickerson had a game for the ages and while he may never be mistaken for former USF star Bill Russell, he did put together a massive double-double with 19 points and a staggering 20 rebounds in 31 minutes of action. Also scoring in double figures were Tim Derksen with 18 points, De'End Parker 16 and Cody Doolin 14 points to go along with seven assists. Dickerson, who was named the West Coast Conference Player of the Week on Monday because of his recent performance, leads the nation in rebounding with 15.0 rpg and has recorded four double-doubles in the first five games. Dickerson is second on the team in scoring at the moment with his 14,8 ppg, trailing Parker who is pouring in 19.4 ppg on the strength of his incredible 12-of-17 (.706) shooting behind the three-point line. As a team, the Dons are converting 42.5 percent beyond the arc, and at the same time beating foes on the glass by more than 11 rebounds per outing.
The long trip and the team's inability to take easy points when they are available at the free-throw line are two of the contributing factors for why the Red Storm might be heading home with a loss after Tuesday night.
GAME NOTES: Winners of four straight, the San Francisco Dons receive a visit
from the St. John's Red Storm in non-conference action at War Memorial Gym on
Tuesday night.Fact Stats
FACTS & STATS: Site: War Memorial Gymnasium (4,800) -- San Francisco,
California. Television: CSN-CA. Home Record: St. John's 5-0, USF 3-0. Away
Record: St. John's 1-0, USF 1-0. Neutral Record: St. John's 0-2, USF 0-1.
Conference Record: St. John's 0-0, USF 0-0. Series Record: St. John's leads,
4-2.Game Date and Time
Tuesday, December 4, 10 p.m. (et)Predicted Outcome
San Francisco 69, St. John's 61