EditorsNote: fixes “before” in second graf
As in the teams’ previous meeting, St. John’s didn’t go down quietly against No. 6 Xavier.
After a six-point road loss to the then-No. 11 ranked Musketeers on Jan. 17, the Red Storm gave Xavier another scare on Tuesday night before falling short 73-68 in Big East play at Carnesecca Arena in New York.
Trevon Bluiett led the Musketeers with 14 points, moving into third on Xavier’s all-time scoring list at 2,014 after his eighth point of the night. Quentin Goodin and Kerem Kanter each scored 13 as Xavier (20-3, 8-2 Big East) won its fifth straight game.
Both of the Red Storm’s losses to the Musketeers came during their current 11-game losing streak to open Big East play. Eight of those defeats have come by seven points or fewer.
Shamorie Ponds finished with 31 points and became the 51st player in St. John’s history to eclipse the 1,000-point mark, doing so on a driving layup with 11:22 remaining. The sophomore is just the 10th in school history to accomplish the feat in two seasons.
Marvin Clark II added 19 points and seven rebounds, and Bashir Ahmed had a double-double with 12 points and 10 rebounds for St. John’s (10-13, 0-11).
Xavier has won six consecutive meetings between the schools, with St. John’s last win in the series a narrow 58-57 decision on Feb. 23, 2015.
The Musketeers were up 37-32 at halftime after the Red Storm led by as many as six points in the opening period.
Clark’s 3-pointer with 2:12 to play tied the score at 67.
Bluiett’s two free throws with 1:04 left to play put Xavier up by two going into the final minute, but Ahmed missed one of two free throws after Bluiett fouled him with 42 seconds on the clock.
Kanter’s layup with 18 ticks left put the Musketeers back up by three, and Bluiett’s free throws with seven seconds to go sealed it.
Xavier returns home to host Georgetown on Saturday.
St. John’s is in a stretch of facing three top-10 opponents in eight days, hosting No. 4 Duke on Saturday before visiting top-ranked Villanova next Wednesday.
--Field Level Media