Despite an over-whelming turnout in favor of the Johnnies, the Wildcats weathered the storm so to speak, overcoming the loud Red Storm faithful. The Johnnies would lead 35-34 at the half, but were unable to hold the lead.
Leading the way for the ‘Cats would be Darrun Hilliard II with 21 points, 17 of which came in the second half. Daniel Ochefu also contributed in a major way, pitching in 13 points and 12 rebounds, good for a double-double.
For the Johnnies, D'Angelo Harrison would do most of the heavy lifting, scoring 25 points to lead SJU. Harrison would leave just prior to the half with an apparent injury, but would return to start the second half. Phil Greene IV was also a major factor, pitching in 14 points, but not enough to overcome the onslaught of Villanova.
Sir'Dominic Pointer would foul out at the 7:47 mark, leaving an already thin St. John's roster depleted. In addition to that, Chris Obekpa would battle foul trouble all night, forcing the team into a five-guard lineup on multiple occasions.
In his much-anticipated return to the hardwood, Rysheed Jordan would shoot just 0-for-6 from the field and score two points. While he would not contribute much in the scoring column, his mere presence was imperative to add depth to a club that is in much need of it.
Next up for the Red Storm (11-4, 0-3) will be the Providence Friars (11-4, 1-1) next Wednesday night at 7 p.m. from the Dunkin Donuts Center.