All Starters Score in Double Figures, Wildcats Defeat Red Storm by 20


Courtesy of Villanova Athletics

All Starters Score in Double Figures, Wildcats Defeat Red Storm by 20

Jack Sullivan

A strong offensive effort led the Wildcats to a 79-59 win over St. John’s on Tuesday night at Madison Square Garden. It was the Wildcat’s seventh consecutive win, improving their record to 17-3 overall and 7-1 in the Big East. The two schools will meet again on Feb. 26 at the Finneran Pavilion.

The Wildcats got off to a slow start, shooting just 2-10 to start the game. As the first half progressed, ‘Nova hit its stride offensively. A Saddiq Bey three gave ‘Nova a 21-19 lead with eight minutes left in the first half, and they would hold the lead for the rest of the game. Stellar play from Collin Gillespie and Cole Swider helped grow the lead to double digits. ‘Nova entered the half with a commanding 39-26 lead.

St. John’s hung around early in the second half. At the 14 minute mark, they cut the lead to eight when a Rasheem Dunn three made the score 46-38. The Wildcats responded by going on a 13-4 run to take control of the game. The Red Storm would not get within 15 points of ‘Nova for the rest of the night. The lead rose to as high as 24 points, 68-44 with seven minutes left. 

It was a night to remember for the junior guard Gillespie. He recorded his first career double-double, posting 17 points, 13 rebounds and six assists. Bey led the offense with 23 points on 8-14 shooting (5-9 from three). Freshman forward Jeremiah Robinson-Earl once again posted a double-double, scoring 13 points and pulling down 14 rebounds. The ‘Cats shot 47% from the field and 41% from three.

The offense did not miss a beat even with the absence of junior Jermaine Samuels, who was sidelined with a foot injury. Samuels is averaging 11.1 points and 5.0 rebounds on the season. He went down with the injury in the first half of ‘Nova’s 64-60 win over Providence last Saturday. 

With a 7-1 Big East record, the Wildcats trail only Seton Hall in the conference standings. They will face off soon, but first, ‘Nova must prepare for a Saturday matchup with Creighton at the Wells Fargo Center. Tipoff is set for 12 p.m.