December 27, 2014

St. John's expects to receive a boost as it tries for its first seven-game win streak in six seasons.

Second-leading scorer Rysheed Jordan is expected to be available for the No. 17 Red Storm on Sunday when they meet Tulane on Sunday in Brooklyn.

St. John's (10-1) last won seven in a row Nov. 22-Dec. 20, 2008. The Red Storm played without Jordan in Monday's 66-49 win over Long Beach State.

Jordan, out with a stomach virus, started the first five games and averaged 17.6 points before he moved to the bench to average 11.4 points.

Part of the rationale for this move may be because St. John's is getting a Big East-worst 11.4 points per game from its reserves, although the club is not known for its offense. The Red Storm's average of 70.8 points is one of the conference's worst marks.

Defense has been their calling card, limiting foes to 36.3 percent shooting to top the Big East. They also are among the nation's best in blocks, with an average of 6.9 per game. Chris Obekpa is second in the nation with an average of 3.7 blocks.

''This's been a gradual progression (of) resourcefulness, ingenuity, problem solving. Now we can make adjustments on the fly,'' coach Steve Lavin said.

Monday's rout came despite leading scorer D'Angelo Harrison being limited to a season-low nine points. He averages 18.8 to rank second in the Big East.

The Red Storm feature one of the country's most unique talents in Sir'Dominic Pointer. The senior swingman had 11 points, seven rebounds and seven assists Monday one game after he had 11, 11 and five in a 53-47 win over Saint Mary's on Dec. 19.

''Dom Pointer is a kid I have a special relationship with," Lavin said. "He's outside the box. We call him Batman, Spiderman. He's a superhero.''

Tulane (9-2) seeks to end a 29-game losing streak against ranked opponents after Monday's 66-57 loss at No. 13 Washington. The Green Wave had their nine-game win streak snapped, missing a chance at their first double-digit run since taking 11 straight in 1996-97.

This contest is critical for Tulane as it enters its first season in the American Athletic Conference.

"We will need to show maturity as competitors to come back and be ready to complete against St. John's," coach Ed Conroy told Tulane's official website. "St. John's is a very talented team and a very well-coached team. If we show the toughness we showed against Washington, we will be ready for the challenge."

The Green Wave lead their new conference in scoring with 71.5 points per game. They feature a balanced attack in which Louis Dabney, Jay Hook and Jonathan Stark average between 11.3 and 12.5 points.

Tulane has won both previous meetings, 61-57 in a 1992 NCAA tournament first-round game and 79-71 in the 2007 Rainbow Classic.

St. John's is 3-1 all-time at the Barclays Center while Tulane is 1-1 at the home of the NBA's Brooklyn Nets.

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