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St. John’s loses to Xavier in the final seconds, 77-74

Johnnies lose despite turning the ball over 18 fewer times

Wendell Cruz

St. John’s lost despite having a lead with ten seconds remaining, 77-74.

The Red Storm falls to 14-12, 3-10 in Big East play; Xavier improves to 17-9, 6-7 in the Big East. Additionally, this was St. John’s fourth straight loss at Madison Square Garden.

In a game where St. John’s got a lot of what they wanted it lost in heartbreaking fashion. The Johnnies won the turnover battle with 4 to Xavier’s 22, got more points off turnovers with 21 to Xavier’s 5, and had more fast-break points by a margin of 22 to 3.

The game started out slowly for the Red Storm, with the team missing its first 8 field goal attempts and trailed Xavier 8-1 four minutes into the game.

For the next eight minutes, the Johnnies largely kept pace and slowly began chipping away at Xavier’s lead, until St. John’s went on an 8-0 run with eight minutes to go to take their first lead of the day. From there, the Red Storm and the Xavier Musketeers kept trading leads until the half, where there were eight lead changes before the break.

Offensively, Nick Rutherford and Julian Champagnie did the majority of the scoring for the Red Storm, scoring 14 points and 11 points, respectively, on a combined 10 of 14 from the floor and 2 of 4 from deep.

Wendell Cruz

Behind their efforts, the Johnnies went into the half down 39-37.

Xavier was able to lead for all of the next ten minutes, in large part thanks to Naji Marshall. After a quiet first half with only 2 points, Marshall scored 9 points on 4 of 6 from the floor in the first eight minutes of the second half.

The Johnnies picked up their first lead of the second half with just under ten minutes to go in the half after Rasheem Dunn converted a fast-break layup off a steal by Rutherford at the other end of the floor. This was part of a 10-0 run which gave the Johnnies its 68-61 lead with just over 7 minutes to go.

Unfortunately for the Red Storm, their run was followed by a four minute scoring drought. All four attempts over that span were jumpers by either LJ Figueroa or Dunn after the team had notable success going to the basket on its run. Thankfully, the run was ended by a pair of Figueroa free throws and a Rutherford dunk.

With 40 seconds remaining, Xavier’s Marshall had the ball with the Musketeers down one. Marshall lost the ball and it founds its way into the hands of Rasheem Dunn, who was subsequently fouled. Dunn missed the free throw, and Xavier’s Zach Freemantle floated one in for Xavier with ten seconds to go to give the Musketeers the lead.

Figueroa missed a floated with two seconds to go, the Red Storm fouled, and St. John’s went down by three. Rutherford missed his three to tie it and St. John’s lost 77-74.

Wendell Cruz

Next, St. John’s head down to Seton Hall on Sunday at 2:00 PM.

St. John’s Red Storm

Rasheem Dunn: 17 points (5/12 FG, 1/4 3PT), 2 rebounds, 3 assists, 2 turnovers

Marcellus Earlington: 17 points (7/14 FG, 1/3 3PT), 8 rebounds, 2 assists

Nick Rutherford: 16 points (6/9 FG, 1/2 3PT), 5 rebounds, 7 assists

Xavier Musketeers

Naji Marshall: 15 points (6/13 FG, 0/5 3PT), 11 rebounds, 5 assists, 4 turnovers

Tyrique Jones: 15 points (7/11 FG), 15 rebounds, 2 assists, 5 turnovers