Xavier opened a new era of basketball only the way Xavier could, with a victory at Cintas.
Xavier defeated their first in-conference opponent as a member of the new Big East. With a 70-60 victory over the St.John’s Red Storm in front of a sold-out Cintas crowd on New Year’s Eve. The victory improved the Musketeers’ record to 11-3 (1-0), while it dropped St.John’s to 9-4 (0-1).
Justin Martin led the team with 15 points (12 in the second half), Isaiah Philmore added 11 & Semaj Christon chipped in 10 and also had 8 assists to go along.
St.John’s jumped off to an early 9-0 lead, as the Musketeers struggled against the Red Storm’s 1-2-2 Zone defense. Starting the game 0-13 from the field. Matt Stainbrook finally got Xavier on the board with a put back, following his own miss at the 11:55 mark in the first half. Xavier found it’s stride in the last 10 minutes and only trailed 29-27 at the half.
Xavier stormed out of the locker room on a 13-0 run of it’s own, led by Martin, to grab a 40-29 lead. St.John’s could never recover. They closed the Xavier lead to 4 with just over 6 minutes to play, but Xavier stretched it right back out on their way to a 1-0 Big East start.
Stainbrook, BIG EAST player of the week, finished with nine points, a game-high 10 rebounds and helped the Musketeers win the rebounding battle, 45-38.
Xavier finished 25-of-56 from the field (44.6%). St. John’s only shot 21-of-68 (30.9%), its lowest shooting effort of the year.
The Musketeers’ next game is against the Butler Bulldogs at Cintas Center on January 4th at 2:00pm.
1 – 2 – TOTAL
Xavier 27 – 43 – 70
St.John’s 29 – 31 – 60
Stats from: Goxavier.com