<
>

Rapid Reaction: Villanova 90, St. John's 72

NEW YORK -- A few quick thoughts on No. 8 Villanova's 90-72 win over No. 24 St. John's on Tuesday night at Madison Square Garden:

What it means: St. John's (11-4) falls to 0-3 in the Big East, digging itself a big hole -- just like last season, when it opened 0-5. It will lose the national ranking, and must stop the bleeding before things really spiral out of control.

Villanova (14-1, 2-1 Big East) bounces back from its first defeat of the season and posts a good road win.

The turning point: The two teams traded the lead six times in the first half. St. John's actually took a 35-34 edge into the locker room at intermission, with D'Angelo Harrison (16) and Phil Greene IV (11) accounting for 27 of the Red Storm's 35 points. Dylan Ennis led Villanova with eight first-half points.

With Villanova leading 63-59 and just over eight minutes remaining, Ryan Arcidiacono missed the front end of a 1-and-1, but the Wildcats got an offensive rebound and Kris Jenkins buried a 3-pointer, making it 66-59. Rysheed Jordan committed a turnover on St. John's next possession, and Sir'Dominic Pointer committed his fifth and final foul on the ensuing play, with 7:47 left. The Wildcats ran away with it from there.

St. John's lack of depth was totally exposed in this game. Chris Obekpa, the team's only true post player, was also in foul trouble, and he suffered a leg injury in the second half which hampered him the rest of the way.

Star watch: Harrison suffered a right knee contusion late in the first half, but returned and finished with a game-high 25 points. Greene finished with 14. No one else was in double figures.

Darrun Hilliard had a team-high 21 points for Villanova, 17 of them coming in the second half.

Number crunch: St. John's got just seven points from its bench, and five of those were from Myles Stewart in garbage time. Jordan returned from his leave of absence but played very poorly, shooting 0-for-6 from the field.

Villanova got 25 points from its bench.

What's next: St. John's will have to sit on this loss and losing streak for a full week. The Red Storm will play at Providence next Wednesday, followed by another road game at early-season surprise DePaul. Things could get even uglier.

Villanova will host DePaul on Saturday.