St. John’s looked apathetic as they fell to Xavier by a 97-82 score. This victory pushed the Musketeers home win streak to fifteen games.
This contest rehashed sensitive memories from last season, where St. John’s was easily handled almost every single night.
Xavier -much like Creighton- started by attacking St. John’s in the paint. The Musketeers drove furiously at the hoop, drawing a hefty amount of Red Storm fouls.
Coming out of the first half under-16 timeout, St. John’s showed some rare life. They used a 16-1 run to take a nine point lead. From that point on, the Musketeers would go on to control the contest.
Again, Xavier attacked the hole effectively, but near the end of the first half they used dribble penetration to create space for shooters. Xavier shot about 60% from the field in the first half and 54% from deep. St. John’s on the other hand was ice cold, only shooting 35% from the field and 27% from three.
Overall, the first period was dismal for St. John’s, as they entered the break down 54-39.
The narrative was the same in the second half. St. John’s offense was paralyzed and lacked effective movement, while Xavier was getting easy looks around the rim and from deep.
Marcus LoVett was one of the only Johnnies to play well. He was a spark that finished with a career-high 32 points, while shooting 71% from the field and 57% from three.
Ponds on the other hand did a nice job playing in LoVett’s shadow. He finished with 21 points and 8 rebounds. These two must continue to play well for St. John’s to fulfill their potential.
Bashir Ahmed once again was very quiet in this contest, and his lack of an impact was felt. Ahmed finished with 10 points, while shooting an ugly 25% from the field.
Another recent problem that reared its head in this game, the absence of Red Storm big man production. Kassoum Yakwe, Darien Williams, and Tariq Owens played very poorly. They combined for 8 points, 6 rebounds, and 4 blocks, which is frankly not enough production. Yakwe in particular has been really disappointing as of late.
For the Musketeers, almost everyone was playing well. As a team they shot 59% from the field and 48% from three.
Edmond Sumner, J.P. Macura and Trevon Blueitt played like Xavier’s big three. They tallied a combined 49 points, 14 rebounds, and 9 assists.
Kaiser Gates was another standout, as he finished with 17 points and 5 rebounds.
The Johnnies don’t get any breaks, as they will next head to Washington D.C. for a bout with Georgetown. Following their trip to the nation’s capital, St. John’s will host the Villanova Wildcats at Madison Square Garden.