Bryan Trimble Jr., St. John's, College Basketball
(Photo by Andy Lyons/Getty Images)

Despite making their first 11 shots of the second half, the St. John’s Red Storm are still winless in Big East play after an 88-82 loss to #11 Xavier.

  • St. John’s 82 (10-9. 0-7 Big East)
  • Xavier 88 (17-3, 5-2)
  • Final, Box Score
  • Cintas Center, Cincinnati, Ohio

For the Red Storm, consistent offense has been tough to find at times this season without Marcus LoVett. Tonight, against #11 Xavier on the road, they made their first 11 shots of the second half. However, the shots stopped falling late as the team went 7:20 without making a field goal at one point as Xavier’s 15-0 run helped them win the game, 88-82.

While St. John’s is still without a win in the Big East, they got a great performance from guard Justin Simon. Simon had a career-high 28 points (12-of-16 shooting) to go with nine rebounds and six assists (both team-highs).

The problem for the Red Storm in this game was their defense because Xavier was finding a way to hit their three-point shots at a consistent rate. For the game, the Musketeers were 14-for-26 from downtown and three different players had three or more trifectas. They were led by guard Trevon Bluiett as he had 23 points, six rebounds, and three assists in the win.

When Xavier wasn’t hitting their shots from the perimeter, they found a way to get the ball inside and they took advantage of their size on the boards. Senior forward Kerem Kanter had 22 points, made eight of his ten field goal attempts, and he tied a season-high with his 13 rebounds. For the game, Xavier outrebounded St. John’s, 39-21.

Despite that long scoring drought in the second half, the Red Storm were able to hang in this game because they were making shots. As a team, they shot exactly 50 percent for the game and they were 11-of-24 from downtown. Marvin Clark II had 15 points and was the team leader in three-point shots made with three.

It was also a rough night for Shamorie Ponds in terms of his offensive output. After scoring 37 against #1 Villanova last Saturday, the point guard only made six of his 20 shots from the floor and missed a few layups in the second half. However, he did finish with 18 points and made a three-pointer for the first time since January 6 against DePaul.

Simon had the breakout performance of the night on offense, but the team needed a bit more from Tariq Owens and Bashir Ahmed at that end of the floor. While Owens did contribute on defense with four blocks, both players finished with less than ten points and Ahmed had the only two points between the two of them in the first half.

Tonight, St. John’s showed great effort against one of the top teams in the Big East, which they have done for the majority of the time in conference play. However, as the losses continue to mount up, you have to wonder what that does for the confidence of the team going forward.

Next Game: On Saturday afternoon, St. John’s will be at the Capital One Arena in Washington D.C. to take on the Georgetown Hoyas (12-6, 2-5). You can watch that game on FS1 at 12 p.m ET. The Hoyas won the first matchup between these two teams, 69-66, at Madison Square Garden on January 9.

I graduated from St. John's University with a degree in sports management. I previously wrote about the Johnnies at Rumble In the Garden.