Preview: Pittsburgh at St. John's
No. 22 Pittsburgh looks to bounce back from back-to-back Big East losses when it takes on St. John's in Madison Square Garden on Sunday. The game holds seeding implications for the Big East tourney, with both teams tied with Villanova for seventh place. The Pirates fell to No. 25 Notre Dame 51-42 on Monday after dropping a 79-69 contest to No. 20 Marquette two days before. Pittsburgh won seven of its last eight games before the skid.St. John's had lost three of its last four games before edging South Florida 69-54 on Wednesday. Victor Rudd scored 18 points and a game-high 11 rebounds in the win over the Bulls. Before that, the Red Storm fell to No. 8 Syracuse, No. 10 Louisville and No. 11 Georgetown in a span of 12 days. St. John's is 435-82 all-time at MSG.TV: 12 p.m. ET, MSG.ABOUT PITTSBURGH (20-7, 8-6 Big East): Tray Woodall averages 10.9 points and 5.3 assists for the Pirates, who average the eighth-most assists in the country (15.9). Lamar Patterson and Talib Zanna chip in 10.1 points each while Steven Adams grabs a team-high 6.4 rebounds. Pittsburgh leads the Big East in scoring defense, allowing 55.2 points per game, and ranks second in field-goal percentage at 47.6. Only two Big East teams have scored more than 64 points against the Pirates this season.ABOUT ST JOHN'S (16-10, 8-6): D'Angelo Harrison paces the Red Storm and ranks third in the Big East with 18.3 points per game, while freshman Jakarr Sampson adds 14.7 points and a team-high 6.7 rebounds. St. John's leads the conference in blocked shots (7.4), behind 4.1 per game from freshman Chris Obekpa. The Red Storm shoots a Big East-worst 64.8 percent from the foul line, ranks second-to-last in 3-point percentage (30.2) and allows 66.5 points per game, good for third-to-last in the conference. TIP-INS1. Pittsburgh has won eight of the last 10 meetings.2. St. John's is the Pirates' first unranked opponent in four games. Before losing to Notre Dame and Marquette, Pittsburgh beat then-No. 17 Cincinnati 62-52 on Feb. 9.3. Sampson has 18-plus points in four of his last five games.PREDICTION: Pittsburgh 67, St. John's 65
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