Villanova vs. St. John’s Preview



Wyatt Noble

Photo courtesy of Steven Ryan/Associated Press

The No. 4 Wildcats will face off against Big East rivals St. John’s for the second time this season on Saturday. In their last meeting the Wildcats came out on top at Madison Square Garden, 70-57. 

It was a night to remember for redshirt freshman guard Donte DiVincenzo who came off the bench and scored a game and career-high 19 points while also adding three rebounds and two assists to lead the Wildcats to victory. 

“My focus is on defending and rebounding,” DiVincenzo said. “If the shots are falling, great.”

While Villanova’s offense stalled throughout the early stages of the first and second halves, they produced a dominant defensive display in which they outrebounded St. John’s 41-23 and help their opponents to .400 shooting from the field. 

Though the Wildcats possess one of college basketball’s most talented scorers in senior captain Josh Hart as well as one of the best young point guards in sophomore Jalen Brunson, the key to their continued success is exceptional three-point shooting and stifling defense. 

It is often said that the Wildcats live and die by the three, yet they won by a comfortable 13 point margin despite shooting a mere 7-21 from three.

The Wildcats also went a measly 3-for-15 from the field to start the second half but were still able to build a 48-38 lead. This was due to an exceptional defensive effort from the team, and strong defense will undoubtedly be the key to success in the upcoming rematch. 

St. John’s boasts an incredibly experienced and successful coach in Chris Mullin, and the Wildcats can rest assured that Mullin and his young team will have a defensive game plan centered around shutting down Hart. 

The Wildcats will need another dominant defensive performance if they are to sweep the season series and claim another victory this weekend.