GAME NOTES: The St. John's Red Storm look to halt a four-game losing streak as they host the Providence Friars in Big East Conference action at Carnesecca Arena.
Providence ended a three-game losing streak in its last outing versus Georgetown - a 70-52 rout of the Hoyas. It was the Friars' first Big East win this season and first victory since before the holiday break.
Since winning at Columbia on Dec. 28 and proceeding into Big East action, St. John's has struggled to get back in the win column. The Red Storm have lost four straight - all in Big East play - including a 77-75 setback to DePaul.
St. John's holds a decisive 57-43 all-time series lead against Providence, although the Friars have won 13 of the last 17 contests dating back to the 2001 season.
Providence's win over Georgetown in Big East play marked the first time the Friars have defeated the Hoyas since 2005. Providence shot 55 percent from 3- point range in the second half to pull far ahead of Georgetown. Kadeem Batts scored a team-high 21 points on 6-of-9 shooting to lead the Friars in the game. Bryce Cotton wasn't too far behind Batts at 20 points with a team-high seven assists. Josh Fortune scored 13 points and LaDontae Henton added 10 and seven rebounds.
Cotton has been the go-to player for Providence this season, netting a hefty 20.2 ppg through 16 contests, despite shooting just 40.7 percent shooting from the floor. Cotton has also dished out a team-high 91 assists and has recorded 19 steals. Tyler Harris is second on the team with a 13.1 ppg average, followed by Batts at 12.6 ppg. Henton (7.3 rpg) and Batts (6.7 rpg) are the top two rebounders on the roster.
St. John's took a 74-70 lead with just over four and a half minutes left in regulation, but the Red Storm let DePaul come back and secure the two-point victory. D'Angelo Harrison scored a team-best 24 points on 9-of-17 shooting from the floor, including 4-of-6 from 3-point distance. Harrison added five rebounds, two assists and two steals to his stat totals. Rysheed Jordan netted 16 points and grabbed six rebounds, but turned the ball over six times in the loss. Orlando Sanchez scored 11 points and grabbed five rebounds.
Harrison is by far the team's leading scorer, netting 19.1 ppg this season on 40.1 percent shooting from the floor. His 4.3 rpg mark is an asset, while his 26 assists and 13 steals make him a versatile athlete. JaKarr Sampson is second on the team in scoring with 11.6 ppg, but Sampson tops the roster with a 6.6 rpg average.
Neither team is playing up to its full potential as Big East action gets underway. St. John's, on its four-game skid, may have trouble getting back into the win column against a scoring machine like Providence.
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