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.
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.
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.