Field Level Media
Feb 16, 2022
Julian Champagnie scored 27 points and reserve Tareq Coburn scored seven straight points during one second-half stretch to put St. John's ahead to stay in its 86-73 victory over host Xavier on Wednesday night in Cincinnati.
Coburn scored 13 points, Aaron Wheeler added 11 points and Montez Mathis had 10 for the Red Storm (14-11, 6-8 Big East), which broke a two-game losing streak. St. John's shot 54 percent from the field. Chamapagnie also contributed five assists.
The Red Storm also welcomed back point guard Posh Alexander, who had missed two games with a sprained ankle. Although he didn't start, he played 25 minutes and had eight points and four assists.
Jack Nunge scored 22 points, Paul Scruggs added 16 and Zach Freemantle had 10 for the Musketeers (17-8, 7-7), who have lost five of their last eight games.
Xavier, which trailed 45-42 at halftime, took its first lead of the second half at 52-51 on Freemantle's dunk with 14:57 to go, and the Musketeers led for the last time when Scruggs made a steal and subsequent dunk for a 57-56 advantage with 11:52 left in the game.
The momentum quickly swung to the Red Storm after that.
Seven consecutive points by Coburn put St. John's ahead 63-57, as he made a dunk, a 3-pointer from the left wing and a putback.
Xavier briefly answered, but after Dwon Odom's short jumper cut the deficit to 65-62, the Red Storm pulled away with a 9-0 run for a 74-62 lead with 4:07 to go. Alexander finished it with a layup off a pass from Champagnie.
St. John's got the fast pace it wanted right from the start. An 11-0 run erased an early 6-2 lead for Xavier. Champagnie had a 3-pointer and a three-point play after he was fouled on a mid-range jumper during the flurry. St. John's extended the lead to 17-9 when Mathis scored on a driving layup with 13:59 to play in the half.
Xavier rallied with a 10-0 run capped by a great play by Adam Kunkel, who saved a ball from going out of bounds in the St. John's frontcourt, and later got it back and drained a three from the right wing. That put the Musketeers ahead 19-17 with 12:13 left.
But back came St. John's, with a 9-0 run completed by Alexander's steal and layup for a 26-19 advantage.
--Field Level Media