The Saint Mary’s Gaels take on the St. John’s Red Storm tonight as part of ESPN’s College Basketball Tip-Off Marathon. The game will take place at McKeon Pavilion with the tip scheduled for 11:00pm pacific time. It will also be available on KFRC 1550 AM.
Saint Mary’s opened their season on Friday with an 86-42 victory over College of Idaho. The Gaels were led in scoring by Clint Steidl’s career high 20 points and a school record nine steals from Stephen Holt. Saint Mary’s is coming off a season that saw them reach the Sweet 16, and while they did lose team leader Omar Samhan, they will look to build with an infusion of new blood.
They should expect a much stiffer test from St. John’s than they received from College of Idaho. St. John’s makes their regular season debut tonight looking to build on lat year’ 17-16 season. The Red Storm return all five starters and 12 lettermen from last year’s team that reached the postseason NIT.
Last season, St. John’s averaged 67.3 points per game, while allowing the opposition 65.7 points per game. The Red Storm shot 42.4 percent from the floor, 33.5 percent from three, and 65.2 percent from the free throw line. SJU allowed its opponents to shoot 42.8 percent from the floor, 35.9 percent from 3-point range, and 70.5 percent from the free throw line. The Red Storm had a +2.5 rebounding margin, as they grabbed 36.9 rebounds per game, while allowing their opponents to get 34.4 boards per outing.
The Red Storm are coached by Steve Lavin who is making his return to the sidelines for the first time since he coached UCLA back in 2003. It should be interesting to see what he can do with the talent at St. John’s as they could contend for an NCAA berth.