Villanova is not any stranger to Madison Sq. Backyard and through the years, has gotten some play from its seniors.
Though it wasn’t a reasonably recreation, Villanova head coach Kyle Neptune was pleased to see his Wildcats get one other win, this time with a 57-49 victory over St. John’s to finish the common season sequence. Share the reward for his crew and a selected particular person.
“It was nice,” mentioned Neptune. “The final two video games, I feel Jimmy has come into his personal. He is been actually good for us, and never simply scoring, however actually defensively. He is been enjoying powerful on a regular basis, operating again on a regular basis ready, he is been our rock defensively.”
Wait who’s Jimmy?
“James. That’s my actual title,” Villanova fifth-year senior Brandon Slater mentioned, and was fast to get entangled.
Put some respect on the man’s title.
“After I play like Brandon,[Neptune]hits me,” Slater mentioned. “After I play like Jimmy, he is like, ‘Oh, brother.'”
Jimmy led the offense within the second half. Whereas the Wildcats had loads of ups and downs in a carefully contested recreation, he remained a gradual presence and saved ‘Nova available, even because the St. Louis Cardinals superior. John’s for many of the recreation. Slater scored all 14 of his factors within the second half on 5-of-7 taking pictures. He posted a game-high plus-minus score of +18.
Slater additionally had the game-stealing seal and a coast-to-coast end with 17.5 seconds left to safe the win for the ‘Cats.
“Truthfully, once you play within the recreation, you simply attempt to do the most effective you may play, and if you happen to mess up, play the following one, and if you happen to do not, you need to construct on that,” Slater mentioned of the large second half. “I feel I used to be simply attempting to play towards my teammates and the coaches, and that was the one factor on my thoughts.”
Brilliant lights, a basketball mecca, an ideal Friday night time prime-time slot—the circumstances might have been impeccable for school basketball at Madison Sq. Backyard, however that does not imply it must be fairly.
Villanova and St. John’s met for the second time this season, and whereas the Wildcats received by a reasonably snug 15-point margin after pulling out within the second half on Dec. 21, Friday night time was a lot nearer.
“We’re a younger crew, we’re attempting to get higher all 12 months lengthy,” mentioned Neptune. “Within the final recreation, I assumed we discovered a solution to win, once we did not essentially play our greatest, however that was an enormous step for us. This recreation, from begin to end defensively, we had been actually good and that is actually what we requested our guys to do, what you need to do.” Simply stick with the protection and convey it up.
“Win, lose or draw, if we play like that defensively, I will be pleased with our guys. We caught with it and saved enjoying exhausting. It was powerful. I’ve seen guys get gassed and I feel up to now, perhaps we’d have given just a little bit, and our guys fought via it.”
The Crimson Storm Wildcats had been restricted to simply two pictures over the ultimate eight minutes of play.
“Whenever you’re on the street, you want to have the ability to make performs and catch hits,” St. John’s coach Mike Anderson mentioned. “We had so many probabilities, however we could not rating. Give credit score to Villanova, they simply saved grinding and grinding and grinding and at last received their break there. Our guys put in an excellent effort.
“We missed lots of runs, lots of pictures. Take a look at the quick pictures we missed. We had probabilities however did not benefit from them. I noticed one possession the place we had three rebounds and we nonetheless received nothing. You must put the ball in and we did not we try this “.
Whereas the Cats might have suffered from late-game offensive execution up to now, they capitalized on the Crimson Storm’s shortcomings in the long run.
They shut out the sport on a recreation changer, sealing the sport, 17–5 operating over the ultimate 8:09 of play. An an-and-one by Slater, adopted by an Eric Dixon basket, gave the ‘Cats the lead endlessly, 47-46 benefit with 4:31 remaining.
“Our focus is on the small print,” Slater mentioned of the largest distinction between the Wildcats’ first and second innings. “I felt like we had been attempting to get stops, attempting to get well within the first half, however I do not suppose we did it to the most effective of our talents. In that second half we checked out one another and instructed one another this was a actuality examine. We’re not doing this to the most effective of our capability, So within the second half, we tried to do it even tougher and extra collectively for the sake of our teammates and the coaches.”
It was positively a stronger end, however each groups struggled coming off the opening tip.
Within the first half of the U8 media’s time-out, with the rating tied at 12, there have been extra mixed turnovers (14) than pictures made (8) and virtually as many pictures missed between the 2 groups (23) as complete factors (24). ).
Whereas each groups had buckets right here and there, it was solely a prelude to the rest of the sport.
The false name with 0.8 seconds left allowed St. John’s to get two free throws to tie issues up at 28 going into halftime.
Whereas St. John’s led for many of the recreation, together with the second half, the sport was virtually in hand, and neither crew led by double digits.
Villanova closed strong to enhance it to 10-10 total and 4-5 in Large East play.
In contrast to Slater, Caleb Daniels scored 16 factors and 4 rebounds. Eric Dixon had seven factors on 1-of-10, however was 5-of-7 from the free throw line. He additionally grabbed 11 rebounds. Chris Arcidiocono scored 9 factors on 3-of-6 taking pictures from lengthy vary, with two tackles, two steals and two turnovers. Mark Armstrong scored 4 factors on 2-of-6 taking pictures, with a game-high 4 steals.
For St. John’s, Joel Soriano had 14 factors and 16 rebounds. Dylan Addai-Wusu scored 12 factors.
The Wildcats may have an extended layoff and might be again in motion on Sunday, January 29, after they host Windfall at 12 p.m. EST.