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St. John’s can’t halt Xavier’s win streak

Xavier's Edmond Sumner drives past St. John's Shamorie

Xavier's Edmond Sumner drives past St. John's Shamorie Ponds in the second half an NCAA basketball game, Saturday, Jan. 7, 2017, in Cincinnati. Credit: AP / John Minchillo

CINCINNATI — Edmond Sumner had 20 points and seven assists on Saturday, leading a balanced offense that swept No. 16 Xavier to a 97-82 victory over St. John’s and kept the Musketeers alone atop the Big East.

Xavier (13-2, 3-0) has won six straight games since consecutive road losses at Baylor and Colorado. The Musketeers are the last unbeaten team in Big East play.

It was the second straight big game for Sumner, who had been limited by an injured left hand. The point guard had a career-high 28 points with 8 rebounds and 6 assists in 81-76 win at Georgetown last Saturday.

Forward Kaiser Gates, who missed the start of the season while recovering from knee surgery, had a career-high 17 points as Xavier had a season high in points.

Marcus LoVett scored a career-high 32 for St. John’s (8-8, 2-1), which went more than 8 minutes without a field goal in the first half. Xavier led 54-39 at the break, its highest-scoring half of the season.

BIG PICTURE

St. John’s: It was LoVett’s second 30-point game of his redshirt freshman season. He had 31 against Minnesota. He has scored at least 20 points six times.

Xavier: The Musketeers overcame a depleted front line. Top rebounder RaShid Gaston picked up two fouls in the opening minutes and headed to the bench for the rest of the half. He picked up his third foul with 16:52 to go and finished with two points and no rebounds in 7 minutes.

UP NEXT

The Red Storm completes a swing of consecutive road games in three days, playing at Georgetown on Monday. The Hoyas won both games against the Red Storm last season.

The Musketeers have three straight games against ranked teams. They play at Villanova on Tuesday, at Butler on Saturday, and then host Creighton on Jan. 16. They split their series with Villanova last season, with each team winning at home.

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