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Latest News : St. John's gamers tried to get into Xavier locker room
The third straight shedding season for St John’s got here to an anticlimactic shut Thursday afternoon, and frustrations apparently reached a breaking level within the bowels of the Backyard after the ultimate whistle.
Xavier, the Huge East regular-season champions, crushed the Purple Storm, 88-60, within the first convention event quarterfinal of the day in midtown. Whereas the groups had been shaking palms, Bashir Ahmed of St. John’s and Xavier’s Tyrique Jones acquired right into a heated alternate. Ahmed walked away after a short back-and-forth however was then confronted by Musketeers ahead Trevon Bluiett, who led all scorers with 27 factors. The groups began shoving. Xavier head coach Chris Mack slid in between the 2 sides and broke up the brief scuffle, sending all of the gamers to their respective locker rooms.
Nonetheless, that was not the tip of the tensions. Based on The Athletic, St. John’s gamers tried to get into the Xavier locker room, which on Thursday was within the Knicks’ residence locker room beneath the Backyard. And now the Huge East is reviewing safety footage to find out precisely what occurred.
“We all know one thing occurred,’’ Huge East senior affiliate commissioner Stu Jackson advised The Athletic. “However presently, we aren’t actually certain precisely what it’s.”
In his postgame information convention, Mack accused a number of St. John’s gamers of refusing to shake palms, which presumably spurred the preliminary skirmish in the course of the handshake line.
“I’m not going to throw anyone below the bus,” Mack stated. “Couple of fellows didn’t need to shake palms. But it surely was rapidly squelched. Let’s focus and fear in regards to the sport.”
It’s potential St John’s gamers had been upset with Xavier for operating up the rating. With the Musketeers already main by 23 factors, Kaiser Gates (16 factors off the bench) drilled a 3 with 47 seconds left. Then Sean O’Mara slammed residence an exclamation factors dunk with simply greater than three seconds remaining, which may actually be considered as pointless.
St. John’s coach Chris Mullin’s postgame information convention ended with a two-part query: Did he really feel like Xavier ran up the rating, and what did he see within the handshake-line scuffle? Mullin solely answered the second.
“I didn’t see something,” he stated.
The sport itself was a lot much less entertaining.
The Purple Storm stayed with Xavier within the first half because of 12 factors from sophomore guard Justin Simon. The Musketeers led by simply 4 factors getting into the break. But when St. John’s had any likelihood of constructing a Huge East Event run this week, star guard Shamorie Ponds wanted to be Superman. And on Thursday afternoon, Ponds was powerless towards Xavier’s hounding protection.
Ponds, a first-team All-Huge East choice who averaged almost 22 factors per sport in the course of the common season, linked on simply 4 of his 14 field-goal makes an attempt, together with 0-for-7 from three. He nonetheless completed with 15 factors by attending to the foul line, hitting seven of his eight free throws. However St. John’s wanted extra.
“It’s powerful, I’ll be trustworthy,” Mack stated of shutting down Ponds. “He’ll make some contested pictures that may zap your confidence defensively at instances. However he missed a few of these.”
Drained legs appeared to play an element. The Purple Storm superior to the quarterfinals with a double-digit win over Georgetown on Wednesday night time — spurred by Ponds’ 26 factors — however had been then pressured to return to the Backyard for a midday tip-off Thursday towards a top-three crew within the nation.
“The turnaround is what’s is,” Mullin stated. “It’s scheduled out and that’s what you get for coming in ninth (within the convention).”
Marvin Clark II paced St. John’s with 18 factors. The Purple Storm shot simply 35.6 p.c from the sector and 22.2 p.c from downtown.
Xavier outscored St. John’s 55-31 within the second half earlier than tempers flared.
“They positively stepped up their protection,” Simon stated of the second-half collapse. “They guarded us properly and so they acquired out and ran. And so they had been scoring the ball. It was onerous to cease them after they had been going.”
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