March 9, 2017
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NEW YORK - Just over 14 hours removed from recording the program's first BIG EAST Tournament win in six years, the St. John's men's basketball team proved unable to contain top-seeded Villanova on Thursday afternoon, as the Wildcats shot 63 percent from the floor and sank 15 3-pointers to come away with a 108-67 victory at Madison Square Garden.
Marcus LoVett and Bashir Ahmed led the way for St. John's (14-19), netting 12 points apiece. LoVett also dished out a team-high five assists for the Red Storm.
Shamorie Ponds and Amar Alibegovic chipped in nine points each. Ponds, a unanimous selection to the BIG EAST All-Freshman Team alongside LoVett, sank two 3-pointers on the afternoon to bump his season-long total to 75, pulling him within one of D'Angelo Harrison for the St. John's single-season record in that category. The rookie from Brooklyn also added four assists.
On the game, the Wildcats shot 36-of-57 from the field and converted on 15 of their 29 tries from beyond the three-point arc. The defending national champions also made 21 of their 25 attempts from the charity stripe, registered 23 assists and surrendered just eight turnovers.
Trailing 12-8 following a LoVett jumper with 15:47 to play in the first half, the Johnnies saw Villanova unleash a 9-0 to take a 21-8 lead five minutes later.
The Wildcats (29-3) continued to slowly build their lead over the remainder of the opening stanza, eventually moving ahead by 26, 52-26, following a Kris Jenkins three-ball at the buzzer.
Villanova moved ahead by 30 in the opening minutes of the second half and never looked back, building its lead to as many as 43 by the end of the contest.
Six Wildcats finished the game in double figures, led by 25 points from Donte DiVincenzo on 7-of-8 shooting, including a 5-of-6 effort from downtown. Jenkins added 24 points and a game-high six assists.