Posh Alexander scored a career-high 20 points and host St. John's recorded a 96-78 victory over Utah Valley Saturday afternoon in Queens, N.Y.
The Red Storm (9-7) won for the third time in four games and gradually pulled away in their final nonconference game after scheduling the matchup on Wednesday.
Alexander reached a career-high for the second straight game after getting 18 in Monday's four-point win at No. 23 Connecticut. He made 8 of 15 shots and had three of St. John's 13 steals.
Julian Champagnie, the Big East's leading scorer, added 13 of his 19 points in the second half while shooting 7 of 16 as St. John's placed five in double figures.
Vince Cole added 15 for the Red Storm, who shot 47.4 percent overall and 36 percent from 3-point range. Isaih Moore added 13 while Rasheem Dunn contributed 11 for St. John's
Trey Woodbury scored 23 points for Utah Valley (5-6), which shot 60 percent and saw a three-game winning streak halted in its second game ever against a current Big East school. Jamison Overton added 18 for the Wolverines, whose other matchup against a Big East opponent was a 66-55 loss at Marquette on Nov. 12, 2007.
Evan Cole finished with 17 and Fardaws Aimaq posted a double-double with 10 points and 13 rebounds. Aimaq, the nation's leading rebounder, also committed five of Utah Valley's 22 turnovers and exited for good with about 5 1/2 minutes left due to a right ankle injury after getting tangled up with St. John's forward Josh Roberts.
Utah Valley made 12 of its first 17 shots and held a 28-27 lead on a layup by Cole with 5:06 remaining in the first half, but never led again. St. John's ripped off 10 straight points and consecutive 3-pointers by Alexander and Marcellus Earlington gave them a 37-28 lead with 3:01 remaining.
The Red Storm extended the run to 18-6 and held a 45-34 lead at halftime after Alexander hit a 3-pointer with 19 seconds remaining.
After the Wolverines were within 47-40 less than two minutes into the second half, Champagnie scored 11 points in a 16-8 spurt that upped the lead to 63-48 on his jumper with 14:25 remaining.
St. John's extended the lead to 82-61 on one-handed dunk by Dunn with 6:54 left.
--Field Level Media