Queens, NY- In front of a near sellout crowd at Carnesecca Arena, many fans dreamed this would be the chance for their beloved Johnnies to snap its ten game losing streak in Big East play.
After taking the lead against sixth ranked Xavier late in the second half, this dream turned into a reality as the game had upset written all over it.
However, St. John’s hopes were squashed after some poor late-game execution, combined with some clutch plays made by the Xavier Musketeers.
A season filled with so much promise and expectation continues to unravel for St. John’s, as they now have dropped eleven straight games.
The injury to star guard and second leading scorer Marcus Lovett seemed to change the course of the Johnnies season, as once conference play started, they just could not find their groove. Fans, players and coaches are all in disbelief.
Johnny Lee, a junior here at St. John’s who attended the game said, “After we started 10-2 and battled against Arizona State, I really thought this team would make the tournament. Unfortunately, Lovett got hurt and everything went downhill from there.”
On a positive note, St. John’s battled sixth ranked Xavier until the buzzer sounded, even taking the lead and holding firm during the second half.
The players continue to battle through adversity, and are on the cusp of getting that elusive first win in such a competitive conference.
“We just compete every game and have to limit our mistakes and make free throws,” said starting sophomore guard, Justin Simon.
Free throw shooting has plagued St. John’s the entire season, and according to ESPN, the Johnnies shoot a mere 72 percent from the charity stripe.
Late game execution also seems to be an issue for this young team, as out of their eleven big east losses, eight have been by seven points or less.
This was also on full display last night, as center Tariq Owens was called for a travel down three points with about 11 seconds left, all but ending any hope of an upset.
The team looks to end their losing streak this coming Sunday, as they take on the fourth-ranked Duke Blue Devils at Madison Square Garden.