GAME NOTES: The Youngstown State Penguins head to Carnesecca Arena to take on the St. John's Red Storm in a non-conference tilt on Saturday afternoon.
Youngstown State snapped a two-game slide on Tuesday night by notching a 71-59 home victory over Bethune-Cookman. The Penguins have not fared as well on the road, however, as they are just 1-4 as the visiting team this season.
Meanwhile, St. John's has gone 6-1 at home and is coming off Wednesday's 81-57 win over San Francisco at Carnesecca Arena. Following this tilt, the Red Storm will get a week off until next Saturday's showdown against Columbia in the Brooklyn Hoops Winter Festival at the Barclays Center.
St. John's won the only previous meeting in the series between these two schools, although that matchup was played back during the 1986-87 campaign.
The Penguins had a little more trouble than they bargained for against Bethune-Cookman earlier this week, but a 13-0 run between the first and second halves provided all the cushion they would need. YSU led by as many as 21 in the second stanza to secure coach Jerry Slocum's 100th career victory at the school. The Penguins committed only seven turnovers in the game while forcing 14. Kendrick Perry led all scorers with 19 points, followed by Ryan Weber with 16, and Bobby Hain with 14. Perry is averaging 21.2 points per game, which is tops in the Horizon League. He is shooting 52 percent from the floor. Kamren Belin is averaging 12.6 ppg, while Hain and Weber check in with 10.0 ppg apiece.
For St. John's, D'Angelo Harrison leads the way with 19.0 ppg, while JaKarr Sampson tallies 12.5 points and a team-best 6.3 rebounds per tilt. The Red Storm have done a solid job taking care of the basketball, as they are averaging only 10.3 turnovers and are +10.6 in scoring margin. Just three days after battling to a five-point loss against second-ranked Syracuse, the Red Storm avoided a letdown game against San Francisco as they forced 21 turnovers and led by as many as 28 points. Harrison scored 18 points to pace four players in double figures for SJU, which posted a 35-24 rebounding advantage.
The Red Storm have been playing well of late and are historically tough to beat at Carnesecca Arena. They have the edge in this matchup, although they'll need to keep Perry from getting hot.
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