Wednesday, February 26, 2014

Xavier 65, St. John's 53: Ray Floriani's Photo Essay

NEW YORK CITY --­ Tuesday evening, a Big East game at Madison Square Garden. The seven o’clock start means train connection, jostling for position among the 9 to 5 group using Penn Station to head home. Finally, the ’World’s Most Famous Arena’ in its splendor. 

Visiting Xavier had a little added excitement. The game was the program’s first at the Garden since December of 2002. An added incentive was to erase the memory of a one sided loss at Georgetown the previous Saturday.

The Garden, bright lights, television, if you can’t get up for this….regardless, it was one of those nights for the host St. John’s. They battled Xavier but their mistakes (shot selection and defensive breakdowns to name a few) ultimately were too expensive and caught up with them as Xavier posted a 65-­53 victory. 

St. John’s was also victimized by a freshman forward, Jalen Reynolds, enjoying one of those games to remember for a lifetime. He posted a career high with 17 points and 16 rebounds, both game pacesetters. Xavier coach Chris Mack predicts Reynolds will be a Big East star. Having your ‘introduction’ so to speak, on the hallowed MSG court assures a head start in the recognition department.

In the final analysis, Steve Lavin could only look at the things his team did not do right, as well as those you had to credit the opposition for doing. No time to lament however. Another game and opportunity looms Sunday with a visit from DePaul.

This time of year with March just ahead, get back to practice and make your adjustments. And be fully prepared and ready to face your the next opponent. The clock is ticking.

The view toward New York from the Secaucus Junction train station:
Approximately 5:30 outside Madison Square Garden, with commuters passing by:
Xavier's huddle after stretching and early warmups:
Officials Tony Greene, Michael Stephens and Jamie Luckie watch pregame activities:
St. John's coach Steve Lavin is ready as pregame introductions are being completed:
Sir'Dominic Pointer of St. John's in a stance, ready to receive a pass:
Xavier coach Chris Mack meets the media postgame:

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