St. John’s Pulls Away from Xavier, 86-73

Red Storm men’s basketball team outscored Musketeers 30-16 in last 10 minutes to grab its sixth BIG EAST win

Produced by: Red Storm Sports

St. John’s Pulls Away from Xavier, 86-73
February 17, 2022

Down by one at the midway mark of the second half, St. John's played some of its best basketball of the season to close out an 86-73 victory over Xavier on Wednesday night at Cintas Center.
The Johnnies (14-11, 6-8 BIG EAST) ended the contest on a 30-16 run, using separate spurts of 7-0 and 9-0 in the span of just six minutes to pull away from a Xavier team that was ranked in the Associated Press Top 25 Poll last week. Xavier (17-8, 7-7 BIG EAST) entered the game ranked 20th in the NET, giving the Red Storm its second Quad One victory of the season.
The Red Storm's 86 points were the most allowed by Xavier in a single game this season, as the Musketeers entered the evening surrendering just over 65 points per contest. As a team, the Johnnies shot 54.0 percent from the floor and tallied 24 assists on 34 made baskets, good enough for their highest total since dishing out 30 dimes against Mississippi Valley State in the season opener. St. John's entered the game ranked fourth nationally in assists per game. 
The win marked the Johnnies' second straight against Xavier after dropping 12 straight to the Musketeers from 2016-21. St. John's won at Cintas Center for the second time in the series history and the first since Sir'Dominic Pointer scored 24 to lead the Red Storm to a 78-70 win on Feb. 14, 2015.
The Red Storm has now won three straight BIG EAST road games and four of its last five away from home. 

Julian Champagnie netted 27 points to lead all scorers. The leading scorer in the BIG EAST poured in 20-plus points for the third straight road game, shooting 9-of-19 from the floor. Champagnie also matched a career-high with five assists and recorded three steals.
In just 15 minutes of action, Tareq Coburn provided a key spark for the Red Storm. The graduate student scored 13 points on 5-of-8 shooting, including a perfect 3-of-3 showing from beyond the arc. With the team behind by one and 9:30 to play, Coburn tallied seven straight points for the Johnnies, who never trailed again.
Aaron Wheeler reached double figures for the 12th time in his last 13 games, posting an efficient 11 points on 4-of-5 shooting. The Purdue transfer also pulled down a team-high eight boards.
Montez Mathis rounded out the Red Storm's double-figure scorers with 10 points on 5-of-8 shooting to go along with four boards and three assists.
Returning from a two-game absence, Posh Alexander was critical in helping the Red Storm snap a six-game skid in Cincinnati. The reigning BIG EAST Defensive Player of the Year tallied eight points, four assists and four steals in just 25 minutes of action. 
Joel Soriano proved crucial on both ends of the floor, finishing with eight points, seven rebounds, four assists and a career-high four blocks. In the Fordham transfer's 28 minutes on the floor, St. John's outscored Xavier by 25 points. 

The Red Storm turned 14 Xavier turnovers in 21 points and outrebounded the Musketeers, 34-29.
Down 6-2 early following a few close-range buckets from the Musketeers, the Red Storm ripped off a 15-3 run to move ahead 17-9 on a Mathis layup with six minutes gone in the contest.
Xavier quickly responded with 10 unanswered points, the last eight of which came from Adam Kunkel. After Xavier's rally, the game of runs continued, as St. John's posted nine straight to move ahead by seven, 26-19, at the midway mark of the period.
The two teams went back and forth over the remainder of the half, as the Johnnies went ahead by as many as eight before taking a three-point lead into the locker room.
St. John's struggled to score early in the second half, scoring only 11 points in the first 10 minutes. The Red Storm's defense kept it close; however, as Xavier managed to grab only a one-point lead.
With his team trailing 57-56 halfway through the second stanza, Coburn threw down a dunk, drained a 3-pointer and scored a second-chance bucket on a personal 7-0 run to put the Johnnies on top by six, 63-57. They would never trail again.
Xavier clawed back within three, 65-62, before a Wheeler triple kicked off a 9-0 St. John's rally, giving the Red Storm a 12-point edge with just over four minutes to play following back-to-back transition buckets from Mathis and Alexander. 
The Red Storm moved ahead by as many as 16 before closing out its fourth BIG EAST road win. 
The Johnnies will have a quick turnaround before hosting Butler on Friday at Carnesecca Arena. Tip-off for the game, which was originally scheduled for Dec. 23, is set for 5 p.m. on CBS Sports Network. Tickets to that original Dec. 23 game will be honored. Fans can also purchase tickets by clicking here.