St. John’s basketball: Tareq Coburn, Julian Champagnie explode in home finale

St. John's basketball forward Julian Champagnie (Wendell Cruz-USA TODAY Sports)
St. John's basketball forward Julian Champagnie (Wendell Cruz-USA TODAY Sports) /

The St. John’s basketball team was clicking on all cylinders in the home finale against Xavier. 

It might have been the home finale for St. John’s basketball star Julian Champagnie and the junior forward would not go quietly.

Champagnie, who tested the NBA Draft waters as a sophomore and came close to opting for the professional route, led the final charge for the Johnnies (16-13, 8-10 Big East) with 19 points, eight rebounds, three assists, and two steals in St. John’s 81-66 victory over Xavier (17-12, 7-11 Big East).

It was the first season sweep for the Red Storm over the Musketeers since the 2014-15 season.

It is almost certain that Chamapgnie will test the draft waters once again with the likelihood that he will opt to make a run at the NBA and leave Queens after three seasons.

“I feel great about it. It was about getting a ‘W’ today, that was my goal,” Champagnie said after the game.

The Julius Erving Award finalist also surpassed Mark Jackson for 25th place on the St. John’s all-time scoring list.

However, Champagnie wasn’t the only one to light up the scoreboard in his final home game as Tareq Coburn put together his best effort of the season with a team-high 20 points on 5-of-7 shooting from 3-point range.

It was Coburn’s first start of the season.

“I had to make this one count,” the star student in the physician’s assistant master’s program said.

“It’s amazing. I’m in awe of him,” head coach Mike Anderson said of his graduate senior.

“It’s just one of those messages that you can be anything you want to be. He’s very unique.”

Joel Soriano returned to the lineup for 21 minutes after a two game absence with a left knee injury  for 10 points and five rebounds.

Aaron Wheeler added 11 points and 11 rebounds to the winning cause while Posh Alexander flirted with a triple-double with 17 points, seven rebounds, and eight assists.

Anderson also extended his streak of never having a losing season as a head coach

St. John’s basketball looking to continue momentum

The victory secures the No. 7 seed in the Big East Tournament for St. John’s with another matchup against DePaul (15-14, 6-13 Big East) likely.

DePaul posted 99 points in a 5-point victory against the Johnnies on Sunday night in Chicago with the winner getting No. 2 seed Villanova (22-7, 15-4 Big East) on Thursday night in the quarterfinals.

“Whether we lose every game of the season, you go into The Garden and win the [Big East Tournament], you go to the [NCAA Tournament],” Champagnie added.

ALSO READ: St. John’s closes regular season with loss to Marquette

“That’s the goal. That’s always been our goal. We are putting together, hopefully at the right time,” Anderson said of his team’s chances to make noise next week at Madison Square Garden.

However, St. John’s will finish the regular season on the road against Marquette (18-11, 10-8 Big East) in the first matchup of the season between the two programs after the first meeting was canceled due to health and safety protocols and there was no common date between the teams to make up the game.

Tipoff is scheduled for 9:00 p.m. EST (FoxSports1) on Saturday night.

Next. St. John’s blasted in Paige Bueckers’ return to court. dark