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St. John’s Loses Its 12th Game in a Row – Still Yet to Win a Game in the Big East

(Catalina Fragoso - Double G Media)

(Catalina Fragoso – Double G Media)


Sunday afternoon at Madison Square Garden, St. John’s (7-15, 0-9) trailed by just one at the break, but No. 6/6 Villanova (18-3, 8-1) opened the second half on a 22-7 run and beat the Red Storm, 68-53.

Durand Johnson led the Red Storm with a team-high 13 points, while Ron Mvouika had 11 points and 10 rebounds, making it his second double-double of the season. Christian Jones added 10 points on 5-of-7 shooting. Josh Hart had team-highs with 16 points and 11 boards for Villanova. Kris Jenkins also had a double-double, finishing with 14 points and 11 rebounds. Villanova shot just 36.2 percent (21-of-58) from the floor, but posted a +13 (48-35) margin on the glass.

Johnson and Federico Mussini opened the game with 3s as St. John’s led 6-0 at the 17:11 mark. St. John’s defense, meanwhile, held Villanova without a field goal until 13:24 when Jalen Brunson made a layup and gave Villanova its first lead of the game, 7-6. St. John’s regained an advantage on Malik Ellison’s layup-and-one, but Villanova fired back with an 8-0 run.

St. John’s, however, responded with an 11-0 rally of its own. After Jones made consecutive layups, another layup from Johnson tied the score at 15-15. Then a Mvouika 3 forced a Villanova timeout and Johnson made it 21-15 with a layup-and-one at the 5:14 mark.

The back-and-forth action continued as the Wildcats used a 12-0 run to gain back the lead 27-21. Amar Alibegovic of St. John’s made a 3 and Mvouika posted a long range triple at the buzzer as the Red Storm trailed by just one, 28-27, at the break.

Kris Jenkins and Mvouika both made 3s to open the second half. The Red Storm was still within five after Felix Balamou sunk the ball at the 16:09 mark. Ryan Arcidiacono answered with a 3-pointer and the Wildcats led by 16 points, 50-34, after he converted another layup that finished the 22-7 spurt.

Alibegovic scored five-straight points midway through the second half to cut the deficit to 13, but St. John’s still couldn’t get a win. The sophomore forward finished with eight points and four rebounds.

St. John’s returns to action on Feb. 3 with a 6:30 p.m. road game against No. 7/8 Xavier (FS1).

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