The St. John's basketball (No. 15 in both college basketball polls) faces a must-win game Thursday night against the Seton Hall Pirates in a Big East Conference contest at the Prudential Center in Newark, NJ (7 p.m. on ESPN2). The Red Storm (19-9, 11-5 Big East) are riding a six-game winning streak and trying to hold onto their fourth-place spot in the Big East standings. If St. John's can win its next two games -- the Johnnies host the South Florida Bulls in their regular-season finale -- then it will earn a double-bye in the upcoming Big East Tournament, March 8-12.
St. John's, which finished in 13th place in the Big East standings last season, defeated the Villanova Wildcats last Saturday, 81-68, while the Pirates (11-17, 5-11) have lost three consecutive games. Last Saturday, SHU lost on the road to the Notre Dame Fighting Irish, 60-48.
Senior point guard Dwight Hardy is St. John's leading scorer with 17.9 points per game. The standout guard gets some help from teammates senior forwards Justin Brownlee (12.1 ppg) and D.J. Kennedy (10.5 ppg). The Red Storm are posting 70.1 ppg while holding opponents to 65.8 ppg. Jeremy Hazell is the Pirates best scorer averaging 18.5 ppg. SHU is generating 66.2 ppg, while allowing 65.0 ppg to foes.
-- Information for this preview was provided by Sports Network.