<
>

W2W4: St. John's vs. N.J.I.T.

Here are three things to watch for when St. John's (5-2) faces New Jersey Institute of Technology (4-2) on Saturday at Carnesecca Arena.

Tip-off is at 1 p.m., and you can watch the game exclusively via ESPN3.

ON A ROLL: St. John's has won three straight games, and is coming off a 24-point pounding of South Carolina on Thursday night. Yes, all three were played at Carnesecca -- but any win is a good win for such a young squad. Let's see if they can make it four in a row, and continue building momentum during the nonconference season.

It's only Dec. 1, but after Saturday, the Red Storm will play just three more games on campus this season: versus UNC Asheville (Dec. 21), DePaul (Jan. 30) and South Florida (Feb. 20).

UP AND DOWN: Sophomore swingman Amir Garrett scored in double figures in the wins over Detroit and Charleston to start the season, but then had 13 total points in the team's next four games. He bounced back with a 15-point, 11-rebound effort against South Carolina, making seven of his eight shot attempts from the field.

Garrett is a key player for this team -- he can provide a big boost off the bench. He's effective in transition -- much better driving to the basket than settling for long jump shots. But consistency is key. Can Garrett give the Red Storm solid performances on a more regular basis?

THE HIGHLANDERS: N.J.I.T. has won three straight, and is off to its best start since joining Division I in 2006. The Highlanders almost pulled off a stunner in their season opener, losing at Providence by a single point, 64-63. Their other loss was also a close one -- 77-74 at South Carolina State.

Their four wins (all at home) came against Division III Eastern Nazarene College (76-43), New Hampshire (69-67), South Carolina State (72-63), and Division III Lyndon State (98-42). (And yes, N.J.I.T has already played South Carolina State twice this season.)

The Highlanders are led by 6-foot-2 senior guard Chris Flores, who is averaging 18.7 points per game. Ryan Woods, a 6-foot-5 senior swingman, is their other double-figure scorer, averaging 13 points and 4.7 rebounds per game.

For what it's worth, N.J.I.T. is currently 11th in the country in rebounds per game (44). The Highlanders have outrebounded their past five opponents, by an average of 12.4 per game. St. John's has struggled on the boards at times this season.