Fordham (4-2) at St. John's (5-2)
The Sports Network
DATE & TIME: Saturday, December 7, 1:30 p.m. (et)
FACTS & STATS: Site: Madison Square Garden (19,812) -- New York, New York. Television: FOX Sports 1. Home Record: Fordham 3-1, St. John's 4-0. Away Record: Fordham 1-1, St. John's 0-0. Neutral Record: Fordham 0-0, St. John's 1-2. Conference Record: Fordham 0-0, St. John's 0-0. Series Record: St. John's leads, 63-21.
GAME NOTES: Madison Square Garden will host a pair of local programs on Saturday afternoon, as the Fordham Rams and St. John's Red Storm meet in the famed arena.
This longtime series dates back to 1909, and St. John's holds a healthy 63-21 advantage, which includes victories in the previous two MSG Holiday Festivals.
Fordham improved to 4-2 for the first time since 2006 with a thorough 79-48 drubbing of Furman on Wednesday.
The Rams got contributions up and down their lineup against Furman, including another 20-plus point effort from freshman Jon Severe. Mandell Thomas scored 19 points, Ryan Rhoomes had a double-double with 15 points and 14 rebounds, Bryan Smith helped on the glass with 12 boards, and Branden Frazier handed out nine assists for the Rams, who jumped out to a 25-point halftime lead and never looked back.
Severe was leading all NCAA Division I freshmen in scoring heading into Wednesday's game and is still averaging 23.2 ppg following another stellar effort. Branden Frazier ranks second on the team with 18.8 ppg despite netting only four against Furman, and Thomas upped his season total to a solid 15.0 ppg.
Fordham is only making 42.1 percent of its shots on the season, but opponents are connecting on just 40.2 percent of theirs and are hitting a poor 17.2 percent from behind the arc following Furman's 0-for-11 effort from behind the arc on Wednesday.
The only two losses on St. John's resume' have come against Big Ten teams -- Wisconsin and Penn State. The Red Storm bounced back from an overtime loss against Penn State by upending Georgia Tech, 69-58, last Saturday in their final game of the Barclays Center Classic.
The Red Storm turned a seven-point halftime deficit into a convincing victory by hitting 57.1 percent of their shots after the break, the key stretch being a 17-0 run. D'Angelo Harrison scored 21 points, JaKarr Sampson added 16, and the squad forced 20 turnovers to come away victorious.
Harrison has been leading the team with 19.7 ppg but can certainly improve his .387 shooting percentage. Perhaps cutting back on his 3-point attempts (27.3 percent over 44 tries) would benefit his numbers in the long run.
Sampson and Phil Greene IV have shown themselves to be capable scorers, as they are putting up 12.4 and 10.3 ppg, respectively.
St. John's is familiar with the bright lights of "The World's Most Famous Arena," and as the Rams can attest the past two years, the Red Storm are always a tough matchup at MSG.
Sports Network Predicted Outcome: St. John's 72, Fordham 61
12/07 10:39:39 ET