St. John's brings improved D into meeting at DePaul

·2 min read

A little over three weeks ago, St. John's and DePaul were set to oppose each other, but shortly before the opening tip an apparent positive COVID-19 test was revealed, and the game was postponed.

Both schools have experienced their share of disruptions but are set to square off Wednesday night in Chicago when the Red Storm visit the Blue Demons for a Big East contest.

St. John's (9-7, 3-5) is seeking a third straight win and a fourth in five games in a season where it has seen six games canceled or postponed due to positive tests.

The Red Storm have played better defensively since a 97-79 loss at Creighton on Jan. 9, allowing 69 points per game in its last four. They posted a 96-78 win over Utah Valley on Saturday.

Freshman Posh Alexander has significantly factored into the last two games, getting 18 against Connecticut and following it up with a career-high 20 points Saturday. He is averaging 14.3 points on 48.8 percent shooting since the Creighton loss.

"It's just confidence," Alexander said. "Back then, when I first got here, I was just getting used to the team, seeing what I could do. I wasn't really thinking about shooting the ball."

St. John's also boasts the conference's leading scorer in Julian Champagnie, who scored 19 points Saturday and is averaging 19.9 points.

DePaul (3-5, 1-5) has played the fewest games in the Big East this season due to seven postponements and not starting its season until Dec. 23. The Blue Demons have won two of their last three and are coming off an impressive 68-61 win at Marquette on Saturday.

Leading scorer Charlie Moore scored 21 points and Javon Freeman-Liberty added 19 as the duo combined to go 15 of 15 from the foul line while helping the defense hold Marquette to 35.5 percent shooting.

The Blue Demons have lost three conference games by single digits this season.

"Winning is a euphoric feeling and not having the opportunity in this league thus far to do that has been hard on all of us," DePaul coach Dave Leitao said. "So, to be able to win, particularly on the road against a really good team, I give a lot of credit to the stick-to-itiveness of the guys and keeping a positive mindset on what we are trying to do."

--Field Level Media