Claude, Olivari Lead Xavier in Bounce Back Win over St. John's 88-77
(Photo by Trent Grayson/@MrKentucky24)
Coming off of their worst loss this century, the Xavier Musketeers returned to the Cintas Center on Wednesday Night picking up a much needed win vs Rick Pitino and the St. John's Red Storm.
In a physical match-up with the Johnnies, Xavier was able to be the more physical team throughout the night which helped them get back in the win column, as well as avenging their Big East opening loss vs St. John's in December. The Musketeers out-rebounded their opponent 44-34, and were also able to get the best of Coach Pitino's squad in transition outscoring the Red Storm 28-11 in fast break points. Xavier also were great defensively behind the arc holding St. John's to 14% from three.
Desmond Claude and Quincy Olivari tied for the team lead in points with 23, and were a combined 18-19 from the free-throw line. Olivari hit two big shots in the final war including a huge three-pointer that helped put the game away.
𝗤𝗨𝗜𝗡𝗖𝗬. 𝗢𝗟𝗜𝗩𝗔𝗥𝗜. pic.twitter.com/uVxL6XEPia— Xavier Basketball (@XavierMBB) February 1, 2024
Dayvion McKnight kept up his consistent scoring over the last few weeks with 19 points to go along with six assists and five rebounds.
On St. John's end, Daniss Jenkins led all scorers in Wednesdays game with 25 points going 11-17 from the field. Joel Soriano had 21 points in the game as well helping keep St. John's competitive throughout the game until Xavier was able to pull away late in the second half.
Wednesday's win for Xavier was a big win for a team trying to build their case for their NCAA tournament resume picking up a Quadrant 2 victory making them 4-1 in Q2 games. (2-7 in Q1, and a combined 5-2 in Q3 and Q4 opportunities).
Up next, Xavier heads to Chicago on Saturday night to face the DePaul Blue Demons at the Wintrust Arena. Tip-Off will be at 9:30 PM Est and will be broadcast on FS1.