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St. John’s Loses 13th Straight, Sets All-Time School Record

St. John's head coach Chris Mullin (Photo by Catalina Fragoso - Double G Media)

St. John’s head coach Chris Mullin (Photo by Catalina Fragoso – Double G Media)


The Johnnies fell to the nationally-ranked Xavier Musketeers, 90-83, in Cincinnati last night. Despite an all-time school losing record of 13 games, St. John’s remained competitive throughout the game vs. one of the top teams in the Big East this year.

The Johnnies came out motivated, and part of that could be the visit they received from the Warriors a day before. Chris Mullin invited the Warriors to St. John’s, who are coming off a historic season, paced to have the best record of all-time in one single season.

The Johnnies gave Xavier a run for their money, battling to the wire before a sellout crowd at the Cintas Center. The win put Xavier at (20-2,8-2), whereas the Johnnies dropped to (7-16,0-10).  St. John’s has yet to beat a Big East opponent this season.

For the Johnnies, Felix Balamou erupted for a career-high 20 points, going 8-12 from the floor.  Yakwe added 14 points, team-high seven rebounds, and five blocks, which is the fourth time this season he has recorded five or more blocks. Christian Jones and Mussuni would add seven points apiece, off their first game off the bench this season.

For Xavier, Trevon Bluiett posted a double-double with 15 points and 13 rebounds. The Musketeers had five players in double-figures, primarily led by Myles Davis who had 16 points and five assists. This win brought Xavier’s win streak to four and overall improved to 11-1 at home this season.

The Johnnies remained tight with the Musketeers in the first half and only trailed by two at the half. In the second half, St. John’s would jump out on top by four. This capped a 12-3 run by the Red Storm, as Ron Mvouika and Malik Ellison drained back-to-back 3s. Xavier would counter with the next five points, however, leads changed sides for the next six minutes of play.  A key 7-0 run broke the tie as Xavier would regain the lead and they would not lose it. The Johnnies would go on short spurts, getting the lead down to within two, but each time Xavier would answer right back.

The Johnnies battled to the final horn, and a Mvouika three with 34 seconds left, made it a 4-point game. However, Xavier finished the game strong and knocked down six key free throws in the final 30 seconds.

This was easily St. John’s best game this season as they were very efficient from the floor and shot 54.5% from the field in the second half. This was also their third-highest scoring performance of the season. Hopefully this inspires the same great play from the Johnnies in the next few games.

Mullin said after the game, “I thought we played really well.  I couldn’t be more proud of my team. Xavier is a great team. They’re one of the best teams in the country so all the credit goes to them.” He also would add, “We work hard, we play together, and we win and lose together. That was a winning performance. It’s not going to show in the win-loss column, but that’s winning basketball, there’s no question about that. So I’m proud of my team.”

Despite having a bad season this year, the Johnnies have a bright future and have to keep their heads up. Good times are ahead of this group of young players.

St. John’s returns to Carnesecca Arena on Saturday to host Butler at 4:30 p.m.

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