CINCINNATI — Jake Nunge scored 21 points, Colby Jones had 19 and No. 16 Xavier made a season-high 15 3-pointers in a 96-71 win over St. John’s on Saturday.
Solly Baum added 17 points, Desmond Claude added 11 and Jerome Hunter scored 10 for the Musketeers (19-5, 11-2 Big East).
Xavier was coming off an 85-83 win over No. 17 Providence on Wednesday. The Musketeers have won four of their last five games.
The slumping Red Storm (14-10, 4-9) have lost two straight, four of five and nine of 12. AJ Storm led St. John’s with 14 points.
With the win, Xavier moved into a tie with No. 14 Marquette for first place in the conference. Earlier on Saturday, the Golden Eagles beat Butler 60-52.
The win was Xavier’s second over St. John’s this season. The Musketeers escaped New York on December 28 with an 84–79 win.
Nunge and Jones each scored 13 points to give Xavier a 49-30 halftime lead. The Musketeers shot 60.7% (17 of 28) overall and 53.8% (7 of 13) on 3-pointers in the first half. Jones was 3 of 4 from long range.
Xavier jumped out to a quick 7-0 lead and never trailed. The Musketeers connected on nine of their first 12 shots and ended the half on an 8-2 run, paced by Nunge’s six points.
The Musketeers sank six of their first seven shots after halftime to close out the game, including all three 3-pointers en route to a 64-35 lead. They led by 30 points, 67-37, with 14:10 remaining.
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