Xavier extended their .500 or better conference streak behind strong play from the seniors and Paul Scruggs.
Xavier, and more specifically Paul Scruggs, got out to a quick start, outscoring St. John’s 10-2 in the first three minutes. However, two turnovers helped St. John’s find their footing, as they trailed only 10-7 with 15:16 left in the first half.
St. John’s tied the game at 10-10 before Xavier buried a three to take the lead back, and were able to maintain a 18-17 lead with 9:36 to go in the first half.
Xavier was able to get their lead up to six, 25-19, but back to back defensive lapses led to back to back wide open threes for St. John’s that they made, and tied the game 25-25 with 6:55 left in the first half.
St. John’s managed to take a 31-30 lead, but back to back threes from Ryan Welage put Xavier back on top 36-31. Xavier led 38-33 with 1:51 remaining in the first half, and remained ahead 38-33 into the break.
St. John’s pulled within one point twice in the first four minutes of the second half, but Xavier managed to stay in front, leading 45-41 with 15:39 left in the game.
Xavier was able to take a lead 54-45 with 12:17 left when Tyrique Jones converted an and-one opportunity.
The Musketeers were able to extend their lead to 10 points, 57-47, but St. John’s went on a 5-0 run to cut the score to 57-52 with 7:51 remaining in the game.
Xavier held St. John’s scoreless for more than two and a half minutes after St. John’s pulled within two, 59-57. During that drought for St. John’s, Xavier went on an 8-0 run to take a 69-59 lead with 3:39 left in the game.
The Musketeers continued to extend their lead, and led by 13, 76-63 with just over a minute left. They were able to pull out the win and extend the conference .500 streak, beating St. John’s 81-68.
Scruggs led all scorers with 22 points, in addition to grabbing six rebounds and dishing out four assists. Welage was second on the team with 19 points on five made threes, in addition to dishing out four assists and blocking a shot.
Kyle Castlin had 12 points to go along with six rebounds and a steal. Zach Hankins also had 12 points, in addition to seven boards and three blocks. Jones finished with 10 points, seven rebounds, and a steal.