St. John's (13-16) at Pittsburgh (15-14)
The Sports Network
DATE & TIME: Wednesday, February 29th, 7:00 p.m. (et).
FACTS & STATS: Site: Petersen Events Center (12,508) -- Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. Television: ESPNU. Home Record: St. John's 11-6, Pitt 10-7. Away Record: St. John's 2-8, Pitt 3-7. Neutral Record: St. John's 0-2, Pitt 2-0. Conference Record: St. John's 6-10, Pitt 4-12. Series Record: St. John's leads, 34-21.
GAME NOTES: As a follow-up to their biggest win of the season, the St. John's Red Storm head to the Petersen Events Center tonight where they will tangle with the Pittsburgh Panthers in Big East Conference action.
St. John's, which is set to close out the regular season at Rutgers on Saturday night, stunned nationally-ranked Notre Dame at Madison Square Garden over the weekend in a 61-58 final. The win was the third in a row for the Red Storm, matching its longest win streak of the season, and now the team is 6-10 in league play.
As for the Panthers, they've been existing through a very difficult campaign during which they were supposed to be one of the favorites to compete for the league crown but are winners of a mere four conference outings. With a record of 4-12 against the Big East, Pittsburgh is tied with another underachiever, Villanova, for 13th in the standings. On Sunday, the team gave Louisville a bit of a run at KFC Yum! Center, but still came out on the short end of a 57-54 final, the team's fifth consecutive setback.
With respect to the all-time series between these two schools on the hardwood, St. John's leads 34-21, but the Panthers have managed to post five wins in the last six matchups to close the gap.
The World's Most Famous Arena has been good to the Red Storm the last few weeks with the team first defeating UCLA in the building by three points on February 18 and then doing the same to the Fighting Irish this past weekend in order to match their longest win streak of the season. Moe Harkless scored 22 points and added nine rebounds, while fellow youngster D'Angelo Harrison chipped in another 15 points which was actually below his season average (17.1 ppg) which had him ranked second in the nation in scoring among freshmen. While he generally flies under the radar, Amir Garrett contributed another 11 points. When it comes to conference outings, Harrison and Harkless have upped their production to 18.4 and 16.5 ppg, respectively, the latter also clearing close to nine rebounds per game and pacing the program with 23 blocked shots.
Pitt trailed by eight points to the Cardinals late in their meeting on Sunday and managed to cut the deficit to just two points, but missed opportunities cost the Panthers yet another winnable game. J.J. Moore scored a team-best 16 points and pulled down seven rebounds for the Panthers off the bench, while Dante Taylor tacked on 11 points and Nasir Robinson accounted for eight points and a team-high 11 boards in the setback as the team shot just 1-of-8 behind the three-point line. Ashton Gibbs, who scored a total of just four points the last time out, is still the leading scorer on the season overall for Pitt with 15.4 ppg, but his 38.8 percent accuracy from the floor is still shaky. Tray Woodall (11.7 ppg) and Robinson (11.1 ppg) are specialists in their own way with the former handing out a team-best 110 assists and the latter pulling down almost seven boards per game to pace the program in that department.
With as much disappointment as the Panthers have had this season, to see them fall to St. John's wouldn't be all that surprising, although you have to assume Pitt will try to put on a good show for the hometown crowd tonight.
Sports Network Predicted Outcome: Pittsburgh 68, St. John's 62
02/29 10:38:18 ET