- Associated Press - Saturday, January 23, 2016

CINCINNATI (AP) - James Farr is already thinking about the end, and he wants to make sure it’s memorable.

The senior forward had a career-high 24 points as part of his fourth double-double of the season, and No. 5 Xavier bounced back from its first home loss by beating Seton Hall 84-76 on Saturday.

Farr had his finest game all-around with 15 rebounds, three blocks, two steals and a career-high four assists. His seven field goals matched his career high, and he went 10 of 11 on free throws.

“I’m a senior, my days here are ticking down,” Farr said. “I want to make sure I go out on the right note.”

Xavier (17-2, 5-2 Big East) blew open a tight game with a 21-7 spurt in the second half led by Farr and Trevon Bluiett, who scored all of his 15 points in the half. Bluiett played only 10 minutes in the first half because he had two fouls.

Farr has been more of a role player throughout his career, scoring 10 points only once last season. He’s become Xavier’s steadiest player on the front line this season.

“Sometimes when you go through the fire and everything doesn’t come your way, you want it more,” coach Chris Mack said. “You carry a bigger chip on your shoulder.

“You see a guy who’s very, very confident.”

The Musketeers were coming off an 81-72 loss to Georgetown on Tuesday, their first home defeat of the season. Their front line got dominated in that one, but reasserted itself against Seton Hall (13-6, 3-4) in the second half and finished with a 46-42 edge in rebounds.

“I thought we did a good job of offensive rebounding against their 1-3-1 (zone),” coach Kevin Willard said. “Farr hurt us a little bit.”

Desi Rodriguez led the Pirates with a career-high 21 points on 10-of-14 shooting. Khadeen Carrington added 19 points for Seton Hall, which was coming off a 72-71 loss to No. 4 Villanova on Wednesday.

“We had two pretty good matchups with Villanova and Xavier,” said senior guard Derrick Gordon, who had six points. “Xavier is probably a little better, but they are both great teams. It was two games we didn’t get things done.”

Neither team could put together much of a run in the first half, which featured five ties and nine lead changes. Myles Davis made Xavier’s first 3-pointer and started a 10-3 spurt that put the Musketeers ahead 28-22. Rodriguez kept the Pirates in it by scoring three straight baskets and piling up 14 in the half, five shy of his career high.

Xavier led 40-36 at the break despite getting outrebounded 26-24. Heading into the game against Georgetown, Xavier and Purdue were the only teams that hadn’t been outrebounded this season. Georgetown dominated the boards to get the win.

The Musketeers haven’t been outrebounded in consecutive games since losses to Seton Hall and Creighton last Jan. 31-Feb. 4.

Farr had an assist and a three-point play that stretched the lead to nine points at the start of the second half, but Rodriguez stayed aggressive with the ball. His baseline jumper and three-point play got it down to 50-49.

Farr asserted himself again, making a fading jumper and a dunk that blunted the Pirates’ comeback and started Xavier’s decisive run. Bluiett made a fast-break layup, a 3-pointer and two free throws that extended Xavier’s lead to 71-56.

“The coaches were telling me to take some shots, get myself going,” said Bluiett, who had only two shots in the first half. “They needed me to step up and be energized.”

SUMNER’S RETURN

Xavier freshman point guard Edmond Sumner started for the second straight game since recovering from a concussion. He played 33 minutes and had 10 points against Georgetown. On Saturday, he played 32 minutes and scored 13 points.

TIP-INS

Seton Hall: The Pirates have beaten five Top 5 opponents in their history, most recently then-No. 3 Villanova last season.

Xavier: The Musketeers haven’t lost consecutive home game since 2012-13.

UP NEXT

Seton Hall: Hosts St. John’s on Wednesday.

Xavier: Plays at Providence on Tuesday.

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Follow Joe Kay on Twitter: https://twitter.com/apjoekay

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