Local Teams

National Basketball Association
Villanova 75, St. John's 69
When: 8:30 PM ET, Tuesday, February 8, 2022
Where: Madison Square Garden, New York, New York
Officials: # Ron Groover, # Brent Hampton, # Matt Potter
Attendance: 9712

Eric Dixon and Justin Moore each scored 16 points to lead five Villanova scorers in double figures and the No. 15 Wildcats barely held off a furious rally in the final three minutes to defeat St. John's 75-69 in a Big East game Tuesday in New York.

Brandon Slater had 15 points and Caleb Daniels and Jermaine Samuels each scored 13 for the Wildcats (18-6, 11-3 Big East), who swept the season series from the Red Storm.

Villanova led 68-51 after Chris Arcidiacono made two foul shots with 3:08 left. However, St. John's (13-10, 5-7) outscored the Wildcats 18-4 and cut the deficit to 72-69 on Aaron Wheeler's 3-pointer with 35 seconds to go. A steal by Tareq Coburn gave the Red Storm the ball, but his attempt at a game-tying 3-pointer rimmed out.

Samuels hit two free throws with 12 seconds left to increase the lead to five, and Slater's steal on the next possession finally sealed the victory.

Moore, who scored 11 points in the second half, and Collin Gillespie each played despite being questionable with ankle injuries. Gillespie, who had 10 rebounds, was held scoreless for the first time since March 25, 2018, against Texas Tech in the NCAA Tournament, when he was a freshman backup.

Wheeler, a senior, had a career-high 31 points for St. John's, which was without Posh Alexander (14.9 points, 5.2 assists). The point guard was on the bench with his right foot in a boot after injuring his ankle late in the second half of the Red Storm's victory at Butler on Saturday.

Stef Smith and Julian Champagnie each added 12 points, but Champagnie shot just 4-for-15.

After Wheeler opened the second-half scoring with a 3-pointer to trim St. John's deficit to 34-31, Dixon scored on power moves in the paint on back-to-back possessions to begin a 13-0 run that put the Wildcats in control.

Wheeler's trey with 13:55 left in the game finally ended St. John's scoring drought of 5:35, cutting Villanova's lead to 47-34.

With Villanova ahead 49-39, a sequence of two consecutive offensive possessions summed up the Red Storm's frustration and inefficiency. First, Joel Soriano made a perfect feed to Champagnie, who back-rimmed the layup attempt, missing it. Perhaps trying to overcompensate, Champagnie then was called for an offensive foul while trying to drive on Daniels.

Meanwhile, the Wildcats continued to pull away. Daniels' 3-pointer with 5:52 to go gave Villanova a 62-45 lead.

--Field Level Media

Top Game Performances
Villanova   St. John's
Eric Dixon 16 Scoring Aaron Wheeler 31
Eric Dixon 3 Assists Dylan Addae-Wusu 5
Collin Gillespie 10 Rebounds Dylan Addae-Wusu 11
Jermaine Samuels 7 Free Throws Made Stef Smith 4
Bryan Antoine 2 Steals Tareq Coburn 3
Eric Dixon 2 Blocks Julian Champagnie 2
Team Stats Summary
Team Points FG% 3PM-3PA FTM-FTA Assists Rebounds Blocks Steals Turnovers
Villanova 75 46.3 5-21 20-28 9 43 4 7 16
St. John's 69 32.0 9-33 12-16 13 39 5 9 9