Milwaukee, WI (Sports Network) - Clinging to the final spot in this week's AP
poll, the Marquette Golden Eagles play host to the St. John's Red Storm this
evening in a Big East Conference clash at the Bradley Center in Milwaukee.
St. John's is a game over .500 on the year (8-7), and coach Steve Lavin's team
is an even 2-2 in conference. The Red Storm are coming off a 57-55 win at
Cincinnati, putting the brakes on a brief two-game losing streak. It was SJU's
first win in a true road game this season.
Marquette got off to a 10-0 start, but the team has lost four of its last six
since, including the last two. Now in fairness to the Golden Eagles, their
most recent setbacks occurred against ranked foes in No. 9 Georgetown (73-70)
and No. 1 Syracuse (73-66) -- they do have a win over a ranked Wisconsin club
from early December on their resume'. This game kicks off a three-game
homestand for MU, which is 7-1 at the Bradley Center this season.
Marquette owns a 13-6 lead in the all-time series with St. John's, but the Red
Storm prevailed in the most recent meeting, 80-68, last February.
With a record hovering right around .500, it's not surprising that St. John's
is averaging roughly the same amount of points as it allows (67.3 ppg to 66.3
ppg). The team is hitting its field goals 42.6 percent of the time, but three-
pointers are falling at a dismal 25.5 percent clip. Despite that, the Red
Storm boast three active double-digit scorers, with D'Angelo Harrison leading
the way with 16.0 ppg. Harrison, who shoots just 37.8 percent from the floor,
also leads the team in steals (25) while coming in second in assists (31). Moe
Harkless (15.3 ppg, 8.5 rpg) and God'sgift Achiuwa (11.5 ppg, 6.9 rpg) round
out the trio for SJU, which took out Cincinnati last weekend thanks to a
stingy defensive effort that allowed the Bearcats to connect on only 26.3
percent of their total shots, which included a 7-of-32 effort from beyond the
arc. Harrison scored 18 points and grabbed seven rebounds for the Red Storm,
while Harkless logged a double-double consisting of 14 points and as many
Despite their recent struggles, the Golden Eagles haven't had much trouble
putting points on the scoreboard this season, as they average 77.3 ppg in
hitting 45.8 percent of their field goal attempts. Darius Johnson-Odom (18.0
ppg, 3.5 rpg, 2.7 apg) and Jae Crowder (16.5 ppg, 7.3 rpg, 31 steals, 14
blocks) have been the most consistent performers for coach Buzz Williams'
club, but guys like Todd Mayo (9.8 ppg), Vander Blue (8.9 ppg, 4.3 rpg) and
Davante Gardner (8.7 ppg, 4.9 rpg) have made significant contributions as
well. Defensively, MU is yielding a .397 FG percentage to the opposition, and
the team comes up with more than 17 turnovers per outing. Johnson-Odom scored
19 points and Crowder added 15 more, but those effort couldn't help the Golden
Eagles upset the top-ranked team in the land, as Syracuse prevailed in a 73-66
final last Saturday. Neither team shot the ball well as both finished right
around 40 percent, but the Orange claimed a 43-36 rebounding edge, and its
reserves outscored Marquette's, 31-4.
The Sports Network