Adam Zagoria covers basketball at all levels. He is the author of two books and an award-winning journalist whose articles have appeared in ESPN The Magazine, SLAM, Sheridan Hoops, Sports Illustrated, Basketball Times and in newspapers nationwide.
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Xavier Beats St. John’s, but Loses Edmond Sumner to Knee Injury
NEW YORK — Xavier held off a rally from St. John’s at Madison Square Garden but lost sophomore point guard Edmond Sumner to a left knee injury that will require an MRI on Monday.
Sumner was helped off the floor by his teammates with 6 minutes left in No. 24 Xavier’s 82-77 win over St. John’s at Madison Square Garden on Sunday night.
Trevon Bluiett notched 21 points and 10 rebounds for the Musketeers (15-6, 5-3 Big East), Sumner scored 17 points with seven assists, Quentin Goodin added 16 points and JP Macura had 14 points.
Sumner is Xavier’s second-leading scorer at 14.4 points per game to go with 4.9 assists and 4.4 rebounds.
“My first concern is for our point guard Edmond Sumner,” Xavier coach Chris Mack said. “Obviously, it didn’t look good. We’ll find out [Monday] and get an MRI. Keep him in your prayers and hopefully he’s back on the court sooner than later. But I really don’t know.”
He added: “The game got flipped a little bit and we lost an all-conference type player at the point guard position.”
Mack said Sumner’s spirits were “down” in the locker room.
“He’s down, he’s unsure just like his coach is,” Mack said. “He’s anticipating that MRI just as I am. We’ll find out tomorrow.”
Sumner is the projected No. 23 pick in the NBA Draft by DraftExpress.com.
Bluiett and and Goodin said the team would have to step up going forward if Sumner goes down for an extended period.
“I think it will sprinkle,” Bluiett said. “Each guy is a pretty good player and if that’s what has to happen I think we’ll be fine. I don’t think it will be a big deal for us. I think we’re all poised enough to play.”
Goodin said he would be able to step up at the point.
“I feel like it’s my job as a point guard to come in and run the team,” he said. “That’s been my whole goal this season.”
St. John’s (10-13, 4-6) was led by Shamorie Ponds’ 23 points. Bashir Ahmed and Marcus LoVett had 11 apiece.
St. John’s trailed 32-25 at the break and then trailed by 15 before rallying late.
After trailing by as many as 15 points in the second half, St. John’s closed to within 80-77 with 14.3 seconds left. The Red Storm fouled Macura, who made 1-of-2 to push it to 81-77.
“We start off slow,” LoVett said. “If we were more aggressive I think we would’ve started off pretty well.”
Asked if he felt it was a winnable game, LoVett said: “Yes, for sure, I believe in my team. That was a winnable game.”
Said St. John’s coach Chris Mullin: “I’ll focus on the comeback just to have a decent evening and a good day tomorrow. That’s what I’ll probably do. That’s what I will do.”
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Adam Zagoria is a New York Times contributor and Basketball Insider who covers basketball at all levels. He is the author of two books and is an award-winning journalist and filmmaker whose articles have appeared in ESPN The Magazine, SLAM, Sheridan Hoops, Sports Illustrated, Basketball Times and in newspapers nationwide. He also won an Emmy award for his work on the SNY mini-documentary on Syracuse guard Tyus Battle.
A veteran Ultimate Frisbee player, he has competed in numerous National and World Championships and, perhaps more importantly, his teams won the Westchester Summer League (WSL) championships in 2011 and 2013.
He lives in Manhattan with his wife and children.