Xavier drops its BIG EAST opener on Wednesday night, 81-66, to St. John’s at Carnesecca Arena

By Marisol Nicholson

Desmond Claude







QUEENS, N.Y. – Xavier men’s basketball dropped its BIG EAST opener at St. John’s, 81-66, on Wednesday night at Carnesecca Arena.

The Musketeers move to 6-6 (0-1 BIG EAST), while the Red Storm improve to 8-3 (1-0 BIG EAST).

St. John’s jumped out to an early lead, going ahead by as many as nine in the first five minutes. Xavier used a 8-1 run to pull within two, but the Johnnies, shooting 50 percent from the field in the first 20 minutes, answered with an 8-2 run to extend the lead back out to multiple possessions. The Musketeers went into the break trailing 44-36, with Desmond Claude scoring 14 to lead all scorers in the first 20 minutes.

Chris Ledlum knocked down a three pointer to open the second half, giving the Red Storm a double-figure lead (47-36) they would never relinquish. Xavier closed within 10 points (64-54) on a pair of Desmond Claude free throws with 6:49 left in regulation.

The Red Storm outscored Xavier, 17-12, to close the game and pull away for the 15-point victory (81-66).

  • Desmond Claude posted his first career double-double, scoring a game-high 21 points and grabbing a team-high 12 rebounds. The sophomore guard went 4-for-11 from the floor and 12-for-14 from the foul line. He added three assists. Claude now has two 20-point performances this season.
  • Quincy Olivari added 13 points on 4-for-6 shooting. The guard added three rebounds, three assists and one steal.
  • Trey Green rounded out the double-figure scorers with 10 points, his fourth game of the season with 10 points. The freshman guard added one rebound and one assist in 16 minutes of action off the bench.
  • Dayvion McKnight chipped in eight points on 4-for-8 shooting. Abou Ousmane finished with six points and nine rebounds.
  • Xavier was limited to a .349 field-goal percentage (22-for-63). The Musketeers were also 4-for-21 from behind the arc and 18-for-22 from the foul line.
  • Xavier won the battle on the glass, 43-37. The Musketeers matched their season high in turnovers with 18. The Red Storm held a 14-8 advantage in points off of turnovers.
  • St. John’s also scored two more fastbreak points (17-15) than Xavier and held a 16-8 advantage in second-chance points. The Red Storm scored two more bench points (16-14) than the Musketeers.
  • The Red Storm finished the game with a .463 field-goal percentage (31-for-67) and went 7-for-20 from three-point range. St. John’s was also 12-for-18 from the foul line. Joel Soriano led five players in double figures with 18 points.