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Xavier v. St. John's: Live chat and coverage, keys to the game

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Anthony Gruppuso-USA TODAY Sports
Xavier Musketeers 19-2 (7-2)
Player FG% 3P% FT% TRB AST PTS
Trevon Bluiett .427 .387 .823 6.6 2.2 15.4
Myles Davis .406 .375 .891 3.3 3.7 11.0
James Farr .553 .167 .793 8.8 0.6 10.6
Edmond Sumner .396 .327 .695 3.3 3.3 10.4
Jalen Reynolds .524 .400 .662 6.7 0.7 9.7
J.P. Macura .451 .310 .804 2.5 2.1 8.7
Remy Abell .394 .356 .733 1.5 1.9 6.2
Sean O'Mara .628 .647 2.0 0.3 3.8
Kaiser Gates .368 .304 .667 2.5 0.2 2.9
Larry Austin .421 .000 .625 1.2 1.3 2.2
Makinde London .368 .429 .500 1.3 0.5 1.8
Ashanti Burgess .000 .500 0.0 0.0 0.3
Alex Bergen 0.0 0.0 0.0
Kevin Coker .000 0.0 0.0 0.0
Tim Stainbrook 0.0 0.1 0.0
Provided by Sports-Reference.com/CBB: View Original Table
Generated 2/3/2016.
v.
St. John's Red Storm 7-15 (0-9)
Player FG% 3P% FT% TRB AST PTS
Federico Mussini .363 .333 .873 2.9 2.8 12.5
Durand Johnson .373 .313 .769 4.3 1.4 12.1
Ron Mvouika .414 .425 .667 4.2 1.8 8.9
Yankuba Sima .509 .500 .400 6.8 1.3 8.4
Christian Jones .439 1.000 .583 5.2 1.4 7.5
Felix Balamou .391 .200 .706 3.8 2.4 6.9
Malik Ellison .299 .192 .650 2.4 1.9 6.4
Kassoum Yakwe .369 .500 5.0 0.4 5.8
Amar Alibegovic .398 .286 .667 2.6 0.7 5.2
Darien Williams .333 .333 .750 3.0 0.0 3.0
Abdul Dial .500 0.3 0.3 1.0
Elijah Holifield .143 .000 .500 0.5 0.1 0.4
Provided by Sports-Reference.com/CBB: View Original Table
Generated 2/3/2016.

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Three keys:

-Defend patiently. St. John's shoots a ton of jump shots in lieu of ever really getting to the rim. They're pretty bad at it, but it's not outside the realm of possibility that they hit a hot streak. When that happens, there's no need to panic. If Xavier stays disciplined and remains content to watch them shoot, rebounds will soon be coming off the rim in bulk again.

-Protect the ball. One thing the Red Storm does do pretty well is force turnovers. If they can't do that, their defense is going to struggle all night. As long as Xavier is making smart plays and not giving away possessions, they'll be able to get the ball where they need it to be eventually.

-Bury it early. I'm sure they don't come into the game expecting to lose, but the St. John's players aren't stupid, either. They know that a big deficit on the road likely means that they're dead and buried. The longer Xavier lets them linger, the more hope they have that this is the game they've been waiting for to break that duck. There's plenty of time for showboating if/when the game is in hand, but the Muskies need to be all business early.