49ers hoping to calm Red Storm

Dec 22, 2014 - 3:31 PM Queens, NY (SportsNetwork.com) - Hoping to extend their current win streak, the St. John's Red Storm entertain the Long Beach State 49ers at Carnesecca Arena on Monday night.

Long Beach State is hoping to put the brakes on a three-game slide in this contest, as the squad comes in with an overall record of 5-7. The 49ers are facing their third straight ranked opponent, after falling to San Diego State (74-45) and Texas (78-68) in the last 12 days. LBSU does have a couple of quality wins on its resume', having taken down Kansas State (69-60) and Xavier (73-70).

St. John's won its fifth straight game on Friday night by rallying to slip past visiting Saint Mary's in a 53-47 final. As a result, the Red Storm are 9-1 on the season, and they will play one more non-league game (vs. Tulane) after this one before tipping off Big East Conference action at Seton Hall on New Year's Eve.

This bout marks the first-ever meeting between these two schools in men's basketball.

Mike Caffey nailed 4-of-6 3-point attempts en route to a game-high 23 points, but that effort went for naught as Long Beach State dropped a 10-point decision at Texas on Saturday. No other player reached double figures for the 49ers, who shot just 38.7 percent from the field, actually converting at a better rate from beyond the arc (8-of-20, .400). They went just 12-of-22 at the free-throw line, while allowing the Longhorns to knock down 52.8 percent of their total shots and log a sizable 40-28 rebounding advantage.

Caffey is netting 18.3 ppg in hitting half of his field goal attempts, which includes an impressive 28-of-55 showing from 3-point range. Tyler Lamb (10.3 ppg) is the only other player averaging double figures for a Long Beach State squad that is generating 68.8 ppg, but permitting 72.2 ppg. With a record below .500, it's not surprising to see the 49ers in the red with regard to both rebounding (-4.4) and turnover (-0.9) differential.

St. John's was involved in a defensive struggle on Friday night against Saint Mary's, as neither team shot the ball particularly well, In fact, the Red Storm made good on only 24 percent of their field goal attempts in the first half, scoring a total of only 18 points. They improved after the break (.464) in mounting a furious comeback, overcoming a 15-point halftime deficit. The Gaels were limited to 35.3 percent accuracy on their total shots, which included a dreadful 2-of-12 performance from the perimeter, and they committed 17 turnovers. SJU was outrebounded, 47-29, but got 21 points from D'Angelo Harrison and a double-double from Sir'Dominic Pointer (11 points, 11 rebounds), who also dished out five assists.

Harrison (19.8 ppg, 6.6 rpg) performs well at both ends of the court for a St. John's squad that is producing 71.3 ppg while allowing only 59.2 ppg. Support comes from Rysheed Jordan (14.5 ppg, 4.1 rpg, 3.1 apg), Phil Greene IV (11.0 ppg, 3.3 rpg), Pointer (10.3 ppg, 8.0 rpg) and Chris Obekpa (7.1 ppg, 8.9 rpg, 3.5 bpg). The Red Storm are outshooting their opponents from the floor (.440 to .367), while holding them to just 28.0 percent success from long range. They also own favorable margins in both rebounding (+2.3) and turnovers (+3.0).

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