St. John’s Faces Top-Seeded Xavier in BIG EAST Tournament Quarterfinal

March 8, 2018

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The Last Meeting
No. 6/6 Xavier73
St. John's68
January 30, 2018
Queens, N.Y. (Carnesecca Arena)
No. 6/6 Xavier Withstands St. John's, 73-68
Playing its highest ranked opponent on campus in nearly four decades, the St. John's men's basketball team held a late lead against one of the nation's top teams before falling to No. 6/6 Xavier, 73-68, on Tuesday night at Carnesecca Arena.

QUEENS, N.Y.  – After knocking off Georgetown for the second-straight year on the opening night of the BIG EAST Tournament, the St. John’s men’s basketball team will return to Madison Square Garden for a quarterfinal showdown with top-seeded Xavier (27-4) on Thursday at noon. The Johnnies will tip off with the Musketeers approximately 15 hours after knocking off the Hoyas in the first round with a chance to advance to the semifinals for the first time since 2000.
FS1 will carry the national telecast with Justin Kutcher and Jim Jackson calling the action from “The World’s Most Famous Arena.” St. John’s IMG Radio broadcast featuring John Minko and Brandon Tierney can be heard on 970 AM WNYM and TuneIn Radio.
On Wednesday night at “The World’s Most Famous Arena,” the Red Storm saw five of its players reach double figures in a conference tournament game for the first time since March 12, 2003. Shamorie Ponds led the way with 26 points, hitting 9-of-14 attempts from the field and 8-of-9 tries at the line, while Justin Simon (16), Marvin Clark II (16), Tariq Owens (13) and Bashir Ahmed (10) also contributed double figures in the scoring column, as the Johnnies knocked off Georgetown for the eighth time in their last 12 meetings at Madison Square Garden.
In addition to his 19th double figure scoring performance of the season, Simon pulled down 10 rebounds for his team leading ninth double-double of the campaign. The Johnnies improved to 8-1 on the season when the Temecula, Calif., native has recorded a double-double.
Thursday’s matchup with Xavier marks the 12th all-time meeting between the programs, but their first in the postseason. The Musketeers edged St. John’s by six and five points, respectively, in their two regular-season contests and have won the last six games in series history.
Xavier enters the BIG EAST Tournament having won 12 of its last 13 contests. The BIG EAST regular season champion owns a 9-2 road record this season with both setbacks coming in conference play at Providence and Villanova. Trevon Bluiett, an All-BIG EAST First Team selection, leads the Musketeers and ranks sixth in the conference averaging 19.4 points per game,
The winner of St. John’s-Xavier will play in Friday’s semifinal at 6:30 p.m. against either No. 4 Creighton or No. 5 Providence on FS1.




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