St. John’s led Villanova by 10 with less than seven minutes to play. However, the Red Storm couldn’t hold off the fierce run by the Wildcats as Nova escaped the Garden with an overtime victory, 79-76.
Maalik Wayns led the way for Villanova (10-10, 3-5 Big East) with 28 points. Wayns has now recorded at least 25 points in three straight games. This is to be expected from him, as he is the conference’s second-leading scorer, averaging 18.2 points per game.
Villanova has been struggling all season and this win gives them their first winning streak since they opened up the season 4-0.
Villanova trailed 60-50 with 6:49 to play but they fought hard and were able to come back and send the game to overtime, where they hurried out to a 7 point lead in the World’s Most Famous Arena.
D’Angelo Harrison scored a season-high 28 points to lead St. John’s (8-11, 2-6 Big East) and Moe Harkless added 16 points. The Red Storm have now dropped four in a row and six out of seven.
St. John's assistant coach Mike Dunlap, who runs the team while head coach Steve Lavin continues his recovery from prostate cancer surgery on Oct. 6, didn't want to hear about any statistic except one.
"We left the game on the free-throw line, it was that simple," he said of the Red Storm's 14-of-25 effort, including going 3 of 8 from there in overtime. "You can talk about the rebounds and you can talk about the turnovers (21), but the bottom line is free throws are easy baskets and when you miss 11 of those it's real simple, something you have to do better."
It’s been a tough stretch for the Red Storm as they continue to fall farther back in the Big East standings. They hope to snap their losing streak this week as they face two tough matchups in West Virginia (1/25) and #4 Duke (1/28).