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St. John’s falls to Xavier for 13th straight loss

Xavier's Jalen Reynolds dunks over St. John's Felix

Xavier's Jalen Reynolds dunks over St. John's Felix Balamou in second half of an NCAA basketball game Wednesday, Feb. 3, 2016, in Cincinnati. Credit: AP / Gary Landers

CINCINNATI — Trevon Bluiett had his fifth double-double of the season, and No. 6 Xavier overcame poor shooting and beat St. John’s, 90-83, on Wednesday night, the Red Storm’s 13th straight loss.

Bluiett had 15 points and 13 rebounds as Xavier (20-2, 8-2 Big East) got its 20th win faster than any team in school history.

St. John’s (7-16, 0-10) hasn’t won since Dec. 13. The Red Storm’s 13-game losing streak matches Delaware for the longest active one in Division I, according to STATS.

Bluiett was only 4 of 14 from the field, typical of Xavier’s night. The Musketeers struggled to make shots consistently and led by no more than seven points until the closing minutes. Myles Davis scored all of his 16 points in the second half.

Felix Balamou had a career-high 20 for St. John’s, which scored the second-most points against Xavier this season.

The Red Storm were coming off a 68-53 loss to No. 3 Villanova. They trailed by only one point at halftime, but Villanova took control by opening the second half with a 22-7 run. They stayed close against Xavier the whole way.

Both teams shot poorly in the half, with Xavier holding a slim lead most of the time. St. John’s shot 37.8 percent from the field and was 1 of 8 beyond the arc. Xavier shot 36.4 percent and was 3 of 12 on three-point attempts.

Xavier forward Jalen Reynolds picked up two fouls in the opening 40 seconds of the game and went to the bench. Reynolds finished with nine points, four rebounds and 1 of 8 shooting on free throws.

Ron Mvouika and Malik Ellison hit threes to open the second half, giving the Red Storm their biggest lead at 42-38. Davis hit a three-pointer, two free throws and a floater that got Xavier going, and Edmond Sumner’s fast-break dunk put the Musketeers ahead 61-54.

The fouls started piling up on St. John’s, with Mvouika and Christian Jones picking up four each by the midpoint of the half. Bluiett’s step-back jump shot gave Xavier its biggest lead at 74-65.

New York Sports