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Villanova, St. John’s meet amid runs of success

villanova,-st.-john's-meet-amid-runs-of-success

When longtime Big East foes St. John’s and host Villanova meet Saturday, both will be looking to extend recent runs of success.

Villanova (10-4, 3-0 Big East) has won four games in a row, most recently a 66-65 victory over Xavier on Wednesday. The Wildcats overcame 38.2-percent shooting from the field, while also going 10 of 30 (33.3 percent) from 3-point range.

Villanova’s starting lineup struggled to the tune of 38 total points on 12-of-39 shooting (30.8 percent).

Hakim Hart (14 points) and Brendan Hausen (12) provided a lift off the bench for the Wildcats, who have allowed an average of just 58.8 points during their winning streak.

“We can definitely be better, but the thing we can control is playing hard and defending,” coach Kyle Neptune said, adding that, “the only thing we’re thinking about is that we have St. John’s coming in here on Saturday.”

St. John’s (10-4, 2-1) has captured four of its last five contests, with only a 69-65 road loss against then-No. 5 UConn mixed into that hot stretch. The Red Storm knocked off Butler 86-70 on Tuesday as Daniss Jenkins scored 17 points to lead six players in double figures.

Joel Soriano (14 points, 12 rebounds) and Chris Ledlum (13 points, 11 boards) posted double-doubles for St. John’s, which outrebounded the Bulldogs 43-32.

“We did a lot of really good things,” St. John’s coach Rick Pitino said. “Happy with the guys. We have a big game coming up against Villanova and every game you (hope to) get a little bit better.”

Villanova leads the all-time series 66-64, including six straight victories. The Wildcats stumbled to a 17-16 record last season but still defeated the Red Storm in both matchups, holding St. John’s to an average of 56.0 points in the two outings.

–Field Level Media

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