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St. John’s Fast-Broken By Xavier, 88-77

The game was closer than the score at least ¯\_(ツ)_/¯

NCAA Basketball: St. John at Xavier Katie Stratman-USA TODAY Sports

St. John’s couldn’t stop Xavier’s fast break and lose on the road, 88-77.

The Musketeers came off an awful showing against UConn on Sunday where they lost 99-56. As teams often do after they have been embarrassed, Xavier seemed pretty ticked off and ready to take on St. John’s.

To make matters worse, the Johnnies are going through a rough patch. They did win their last game against a floundering Villanova team, but the Red Storm are still losers of 3 of their last 4 games.

For the first 9 minutes of the half, only two guys scored for the Johnnies — Daniss Jenkins and Jordan Dingle. Offensively, Jenkins has been great at generating offense for others averaging just under 6 assists per game. However, he can be a bit of a chuck artist at times when he’s generating offense for himself. In the first half, we got both the efficient Jenkins, who made his first 5 shots, and the chuck artist Jenkins, who followed such by going 2 of 5 on his following 5 shots and settling for midrange jumpers. The Iona transfer finished the half with 15 points (7-10 FC, 1-1 3FG) and 2 assists.

As for largely everyone, St. John’s struggles scoring at the rim showed up again in a big way. The Red Storm continue to be one of the worst teams in the country at the rim, concerting under 58% of points within 4 12 feet of the rim. The Johnnies were slightly worse than that in the first half shooting 6 of 11 at the bucket, just under 55%.

At the half, St. John’s went into the break down 38-34.

While the Johnnies did not improve much at the rim, they got the benefit of more whistles in the second half. However, St. John’s still found a way to leave points off the board by shooting a less-than-stellar 14 of 20 from the charity stripe in the second half.

After a quiet first half, Joel Soriano looked much more like himself coming into the second half. Soriano scored 7 points (3-7 FG) and 10 rebounds in the first half, but the Red Storm adjusted to get the St. John’s big more touches in scoring situations. The senior answered the bell with 14 second half points (5-7 FG) and 5 rebounds.

Powered by Soriano, St. John’s hung around and tied the game up with just under 4 minutes to play.

Unfortunately, that was as close as the Johnnies got. After the Musketeers knocked down a pair of free throws, Xavier’s Dailyn Swain grab an unfortunately timed offensive board and kicked it out for a three to make the game a two-possession game again in favor of the Musketeers.

What was integral to Xavier was their faskbreak. Like we use to see when ex-Coach Mike Anderson actually had his guys moving in transition, the Musketeers put up 28 fastbreak points in the contest, as compared to St. John’s 11 fastbreak points.

Effectively run out of the gym by Xavier, St. John’s picked up a loss, 88-77.

Next, the Red Storm take on UConn on Saturday at noon at Madison Square Garden.

St. John’s Red Storm

Daniss Jenkins: 25 points (11-17 FG, 2-5 3FG), 4 rebounds, 2 assists

Joel Soriano: 21 points (8-14 FG), 15 rebounds, 1 assist

Jordan Dingle: 12 points (2-6 FG, 0-3 3FG), 1 rebound, 2 assists

Xavier Musketeers

Quincy Olivari: 23 points (6-16 FG, 4-8 3FG), 7 rebounds, 2 assists

Desmond Claude: 23 points (6-13 FG, 0-2 3FG), 3 rebounds, 3 assists