DAYTON, Ohio (Ticker) -- Saint Joseph's will not have the added pressure of entering the NCAA Tournament with an undefeated record.
Romain Sato scored 24 points and grabbed 11 rebounds and Lionel Chalmers added 23 as hot-shooting Xavier jumped out to a big lead and stunned the top-ranked Hawks, 87-67, in the quarterfinals of the Atlantic 10 tournament.
St. Joseph's (27-1) became the first team to complete an undefeated regular season since Nevada-Las Vegas in 1991, but its performance on Thursday could call into question whether it will receive a top seed when the NCAA Tournament pairings are announced on Sunday.
"The better team won today. I didn't prepare them to be mentally ready to play a hungry and desperate opponent," St. Joseph's coach Phil Martelli said.
The Hawks also will lose the first No. 1 ranking in school history which they earned after Stanford, the only other undefeated team in the nation, lost to Washington last week. The loss ended the Hawks' 27-game winning streak, the longest in Atlantic 10 history.
If there is any consolation, St. Josephs will have at least a week to figure out what went wrong.
"We must and will become a more desperate team," Martelli said.
St. Joseph's came out flat and Xavier (21-11) took full advantage, shooting an Atlantic 10 record 71.1 percent from the field to win its fourth straight game and 11th in 12 contests.
"With the way we were shooting the ball, we felt like we were pretty much able to get the ball where we wanted," Xavier coach Thad Matta said. "These guys did a great job of finishing around the basket and keeping their composure."
Xavier will play George Washington in the semifinals on Friday.
Anthony Myles added 19 points and nine rebounds for Xavier, which had a huge 43-18 lead on the boards.
Jameer Nelson was held to 16 points and made just 7-of-21 shots, but he became St. Joseph's all-time leading scorer with 1,996 points. Delonte West also scored 16 for St. Joseph's.
"We just wanted to make it tough for them - Jameer Nelson and West," Sato said. "The last time we played them they were making everything. So we felt like we just had to make it tough for them and challenge everything they wanted to do."
Chalmers scored 14 of his points in the first half as the Musketeers took a 43-21 lead at intermission. The Hawks never led and they fell behind 21-11 with 9:20 left on a basket by Justin Cage, marking the first time it trailed by double digits this season.
The Musketeers defeated the top-ranked team in the country for the third time in school history. They topped crosstown rival Cincinnati on November 26, 1996 and again on December 18, 1999.
The halftime talk by Martelli apparently did no good. The Hawks did not score in the first 4:15 of the second half. The deficit grew to as high as 34 points when Cage made it 68-34 on a layup with 9:39 left.