Xavier won its fifth consecutive game Thursday night at St. John’s 84-73. Naji Marshall again led the Musketeers (16-13, 8-8, 93rd) with 31 points, a career-high. Quentin Goodin added 13 points for Xavier, while Zach Hankins (11) and Tyrique Jones (11/10) also contributed. LJ Figueroa scored 23 points and Shamorie Ponds had 13 points and six assists for the Red Storm (20-9, 8-8, 44th). The victory is one of the strongest this season, and the best road victory thus far for Xavier. Once in last place, Xavier is now tied for third place in the Big East.The Muskies’ will visit Butler (15-13, 6-9, 90th) Tuesday at 6:00 PM. TV: FS1 Radio: 700 WLW
Naji Marshall (13) scored a career-high 31 points (Ny Post/Sipkin).
2018-19 Big East Standings
The Cincinnati Bearcats were able to cruise past the Xavier Musketeers in the Skyline Chili Crosstown Classic 60-45, televised on ESPN2. Unlike last year, there were no skirmishes, punches, or trash-talking. Yet, the game was still competitive. By halftime, the Musketeers led 24-22. Cincinnati was only 25% in field goal percentage at the break. But the shooting improved, and led by Sean Kilpatrick’s 25 points, the Bearcats pulled away for the victory. Xavier’s Dee Davis played through pain, and had 3 steals. But when Davis and Semaj Christon were suffering from cramps, Xavier lost any control they had.
It’s officially March now. That means conference tournaments are about to begin, and the NCAA Tournament is only a few weeks away. Here’s how the local teams fare:
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- Record: 22-7 (9-7 in Big East)
- RPI: 39
- SOS: 81
Analysis: The Bearcats were slightly on the bubble. But then a victory at #11 Georgetown last week made it almost certain that they will be participating in their first NCAA tournament since 2004. A loss to #15 Connecticut does not change this. With two games left, at Marquette and vs. #17 Georgetown, the Cats’ should win at least one of those. The Big East tournament will then be an important setting for UC to improve their stock. Although their NCAA bid probably won’t ride on it, a higher seed could result from a solid performance. As of now, Cincy is projected as a #7 seed.
Great Wins: Xavier, at St. John’s, Louisville, at Georgetown
Horrible Losses: None
#23 Xavier Musketeers
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- Record: 22-6 (13-1 in Atlantic 10)
- RPI: 22
- SOS: 44
Analysis: The Muskies are enjoying a soft A-10 schedule, and are taking care of business. An absolute lock in the tournament, Xavier just needs to keep playing very well, as they have been doing. A win at Dayton on Sunday, helps maintain their momentum. They do, however, have a baffling loss at Charlotte, whose RPI is 218. Nonetheless, Xavier should roll through the A-10 tournament, or at least make it to the finals. They also are projected to be a #7 seed in the NCAA Tournament.
Great Wins: Temple
Horrible Losses: at Charlotte