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St. John’s comes up close, but loses to Xavier

St. John’s (10-9, 0-7 Big East) led midway through the second half before Xavier surged ahead 79-67 with 2:56 left.

Xavier's Paul Scruggs drives against St. John's Justin

Xavier's Paul Scruggs drives against St. John's Justin Simon and Marvin Clark II, left, in the first half on Wednesday, Jan. 17, 2018, in Cincinnati. Photo Credit: AP / John Minchillo

CINCINNATI — Kerem Kanter had 22 points and led a late run that swept No. 11 Xavier to an 88-82 victory over St. John’s on Wednesday night, giving Chris Mack the Musketeers record for career coaching wins.

Kanter had eight points and an emphatic block during a 17-2 run that kept Xavier (17-3, 5-3 Big East) unbeaten in 13 games at the Cintas Center this season. He also matched his career high with 13 rebounds for his third double-double of the season.

Mack got his 203rd coaching victory at his alma mater, passing Pete Gillen for the school record in his ninth season.

Trevon Bluiett emerged from a shooting slump by scoring 24 points during a 92-70 win over then-No. 25 Creighton on Saturday. He followed with 23 points on Wednesday.

St. John’s (10-9, 0-7) led midway through the second half before Xavier surged ahead 79-67 with 2:56 left. The Red Storm dropped its seventh straight. Justin Simon had a career-high 28 points.

The Red Storm made their first 11 shots in the second half and went up 65-62 on Tariq Owens’ 3-pointer with 10 minutes left. Kanter’s tip-in started Xavier’s decisive run.

Big picture

St. John’s: The Red Storm keeps coming close and coming up short. Five of the losses during their skid have been by seven points or fewer.

Xavier: The Musketeers have regained their footing after consecutive road losses at Providence and No. 1 Villanova that dropped them from No. 5 nationally to No. 11. Their 3-point shooting was a big problem during the two losses, and they found their touch during the two wins. They went 14 of 26 from beyond the arc on Wednesday.

Up next

The Red Storm plays a second straight road game at Georgetown. They lost at home to the Hoyas 69-66 on Jan. 9.

The Musketeers play at No. 19 Seton Hall on Saturday. The rematch is Feb. 14 at the Cintas Center.

New York Sports