College Hoops Player of the Day for Tuesday, February 15, 2011
Some of the Big East teams near or at the top of the conference standings may be looking over their shoulders at the surging Red Storm.
St. John's won its fourth straight Big East tilt - this one coming on the road - as they downed Marquette, 80-68, with a strong second half and 28 points from their star, senior guard, Dwight Hardy.
Tied 38-all at the break, the Red Storm pressured Marquette into numerous mistakes and outscored them 42-30 in the second half. St. John's forced 18 turnovers.
Hardy, who played all but one minute of the game, got his game-high 28 points on 7-for-16 shooting, with a pair of threes and 12 of 15 free throws. He also had six rebounds, three assists and five steals.
The Red Storm is now 8-5 after a 4-5 start in Big East play and has positioned itself nicely for an NCAA tournament bid, an honor not bestowed upon the team since 2002. The team hosts #4 Pittsburgh, the current conference leader, on Saturday at Madison Square Garden.
NOTABLE: All five Top 25 teams in action Tuesday night were winners. #2 Ohio State thumped Michigan State, 71-61 sending the Spartans to their 6th loss in their last 8 games. Michigan State has slumped to 6-7 in the Big Ten and 14-11 overall. Other Top 25 winners included North Carolina, Kentucky, Villanova and Missouri.