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Game 19: Villanova 81, St. John's 71

Box score

Omari Lawrence gave the team some life, and Dwight Hardy brought them out from the scoring doldrums. Which means that neither played as much as he should have, and the Red Storm loses a game where they were competitive in stretches... but didn't have enough competitive players.

More, and video highlights, below the fold.

Highlights from the Villanova/ St. John's Game:

From The Keys to The Game

Control. There were control issues, even if St. John's turned Villanova over more. In truth, St. John's needed to execute at a ridiculously high level and do everything better than the more athletically talented and precise Wildcats. C-

At Least Slow Them Down. It worked early... but 73 possessions is certainly not "slow." St. John's could have beaten them fast, but when the poor possessions, missed shots, and strangely-called fouls came up... St. John's needed to make the game more of a grind, keep it closer. D

Rebound. An okay rebounding performance. St. John's needed to clean glass at the defensive end, though... oh heck, they needed to get a few more shots. But the way they were tapping shots up and having those shots miss the net, more rebounds wouldn't have made such a difference. C+

Drive Aggressively. The team had Kennedy and Burrell effective in small spurts, but the shots didn't fall. The team got to the free throw line a decent amount, and that was nice to see. B

Shoot. The Red Storm didn't shoot as well as they needed to, but 37.5% from the 3 isn't bad for this team. The shooting inside - especially on layups and tip-ins (see the high definition boxscore linked below) was 4 of 8, and it seemed worse than that, like a team that couldn't get an open dunk to fall if they tried. B-

And where is the Red Storm right now? The pulse? St. John's is not up to knocking off those top level teams. Enjoy the hi-def boxscore with plus-minus and possession data from Hoya Prospectus (nice work, fellas). Note that Omari Lawrence's performance was as good as it seemed to be, and Malik Boothe's performance was as bad as it seemed to be.