The Red Storm’s bench outscored Xavier’s 20-10 and St. John’s shot 49.1 percent from the field and scored 42 points in the paint, but was unable to overcome the Musketeers’ 36-28 halftime lead despite pulling to within one point with 5:38 remaining in the contest.
Conference newcomer Xavier earned its first-ever Big East win and is now 6-8 overall and 1-1 in the conference.
Sophomore guard Aliyyah Handford led the team with 17 points on 6-of-13 shooting and junior forward Amber Thompson just missed notching her second-straight double-double with 16 points to go with a game-high nine rebounds and three steals.
Conference play started on a more positive note for St. John’s with a 61-58 victory over Delaware. Junior forward Amber Thompson scored 14 points and pulled down a season-high 15 rebounds – including 10 on the offensive glass, another season-high – to post her second double-double of the season and ninth of her career.
This is always a tough place to play,” said St. John’s head coach Joe Tartamella. “I thought we kept ourselves in the game by making a couple of key stops and some big shots towards the end and I’m very proud of what we were able to do against a team that has always been successful.”
The Red Storm returned to Carnesecca Arena and Big East action on Wednesday, Jan. 8, for a 7 p.m. tip against another conference newcomer, Creighton.