Heading east, the Xavier Musketeers looked to build off of their rebound win over the Butler Bulldogs over the weekend. With a 1-1 record in conference play, the Musketeers wanted to avoid a 1-2 start to the season with a lot of promise and expectations building after their dominant start to the season.
The St. John's Red Storm were there to greet them in Jamaica, Queens. Try as they might - and they tried furiously - the Musketeers got their second BIG EAST victory of the season to keep the ball rolling. X picked up a 74-66 victory over St. John's, who is 0-3 to start conference play for the third consecutive year.
Junior guard Myles Davis and sophomore forward Trevon Bluiett were the stars for Xavier on Wednesday night. The tandem combined for 37 points, with Davis amassing 19 of them. Jalen Reynolds picked up yet another double-double, scoring 10 and grabbing 13 boards.
Senior guard Ron Mvouika and freshman guard Federico Mussini each dropped 19 points in a losing effort for the Red Storm.
Here's what we learned from this matchup:
1. Like DePaul, St. John's continues to fight and fight hard
At 7-9 and 0-3 in BIG EAST play, St. John's is off to their worst start since going 8-8 in the 2011-12 season and matches the 7-9 start they had in 2007-08 season. The D.J. Kennedy, Anthony Mason and Norm Roberts era has long departed, and it was to be expected that the slew of youth and mixed parts on this St. John's would take their lumps this season.
That said, it's hard not to come away with some positives here. St. John's held their own in the rebounding battle, losing by just five against one of the top rebounding teams in the country. They were active towards the end, engineering a run that put Xavier on the ropes and within a single point at one time. The Johnnies may not have finished, but they'll be damned if they won't make you earn everything against them.
2. Durand Johnson never met a shot he didn't like
It is perhaps wholly unfair to lay the blame on Durand Johnson's shot selection. Lots of things didn't work for the Johnnies - 3-point shooting for one, as they would shoot 24.1 percent on 29 opportunities.
That said, the Pittsburgh Panthers transfer took 17 shots on Wednesday which outweighed every player on the floor and he'd only go on to convert on just six of them for a skittish field goal percentage of 35.3, and not a single one of his eight 3-point opportunities.
Johnson's shot selection perhaps is in need of a tuneup as conference play continues on. Taking higher percentage shots, as obvious as it is to say, could give way to greater opportunities for Johnson to get buckets and help put the Johnnies in a better position.
3. Trevon Bluiett and Myles Davis proved to be pivotal down the stretch
The two leading scorers for the Musketeers proved to be big time players as this game came to a close. After Federico Mussini's 3-pointer from Flushing Meadows dropped in the net, X was in need of assistance.
A technical foul - perhaps a bit of a lame one, even if it is going to be called 100 percent of the time - gave way to Myles Davis and Trevon Bluiett to cash in on their opportunities. Cash in they would, as both players stepped up to the free throw line and took a combined eight free throws in the final 93 seconds of the game.
They would go on to miss exactly one of them.
Davis and Bluiett will be called upon for moments like that going forward for X. Tonight proved that they are more than capable of taking the reigns and pulling Xavier out of the fire.