It’s James: Slater propels Villanova to 57-49 win over St. John’s at Madison Square Garden

Villanova isn’t any stranger to Madison Sq. Backyard and over time, has gotten some play from its seniors.

Though it wasn’t a reasonably sport, 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 collection. Share the reward for his crew and a particular particular person.

“It was nice,” mentioned Neptune. “The final two video games, I believe Jimmy has come into his personal. He is been actually good for us, and never simply scoring, however actually defensively. He is been taking part in robust on a regular basis, working 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 become involved.

Put some respect on the man’s title.

“Once I play like Brandon,[Neptune]hits me,” Slater mentioned. “Once 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 intently contested sport, he remained a gradual presence and stored ‘Nova readily available, even because the St. Louis Cardinals superior. John’s for many of the sport. Slater scored all 14 of his factors within the second half on 5-of-7 capturing. He posted a game-high plus-minus ranking 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.

“Actually, whenever you play within the sport, you simply attempt to do one of the best you may play, and in the event you mess up, play the following one, and in the event you do not, you must construct on that,” Slater mentioned of the large second half. “I believe I used to be simply attempting to play towards my teammates and the coaches, and that was the one factor on my thoughts.”

Shiny lights, a basketball mecca, an ideal Friday night time prime-time slot—the circumstances could 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 gained by a reasonably comfy 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 yr lengthy,” mentioned Neptune. “Within the final sport, I assumed we discovered a solution to win, after we did not essentially play our greatest, however that was a giant step for us. This sport, from begin to end defensively, we have been actually good and that is actually what we requested our guys to do, what you must do.” Simply follow the protection and produce it up.

“Win, lose or draw, if we play like that defensively, I will be happy with our guys. We caught with it and stored taking part in exhausting. It was robust. I’ve seen guys get gassed and I believe prior to now, perhaps we might have given a bit bit, and our guys fought by it.”

The Pink Storm Wildcats have been restricted to simply two photographs over the ultimate eight minutes of play.

“Once you’re on the highway, 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 only stored grinding and grinding and grinding and at last received their break there. Our guys put in an excellent effort.

“We missed a number of runs, a number of photographs. Take a look at the quick photographs we missed. We had probabilities however did not make the most of them. I noticed one possession the place we had three rebounds and we nonetheless received nothing. You need to put the ball in and we did not we try this “.

Whereas the Cats could have suffered from late-game offensive execution prior to now, they capitalized on the Pink Storm’s shortcomings ultimately.

They shut out the sport on a sport changer, sealing the sport, 17–5 working over the ultimate 8:09 of play. An an-and-one by Slater, adopted by an Eric Dixon basket, gave the ‘Cats the lead ceaselessly, 47-46 benefit with 4:31 remaining.

“Our focus is on the main points,” Slater mentioned of the largest distinction between the Wildcats’ first and second innings. “I felt like we have been attempting to get stops, attempting to recuperate within the first half, however I do not suppose we did it to one of the best of our skills. In that second half we checked out one another and informed one another this was a actuality test. We’re not doing this to one of the best of our potential, 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 undoubtedly 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 photographs made (8) and virtually as many photographs 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 sport, together with the second half, the sport was virtually in hand, and neither crew led by double digits.

Villanova closed stable to enhance it to 10-10 general and 4-5 in Huge 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 capturing from lengthy vary, with two tackles, two steals and two turnovers. Mark Armstrong scored 4 factors on 2-of-6 capturing, 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 can have an extended layoff and shall be again in motion on Sunday, January 29, once they host Windfall at 12 p.m. EST.

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