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 through the years, has gotten some play from its seniors.

Though it wasn’t a reasonably recreation, 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 sequence. Share the reward for his staff and a selected particular person.

“It was nice,” stated Neptune. “The final two video games, I feel Jimmy has come into his personal. He is been actually good for us, and never simply scoring, however actually defensively. He is been enjoying robust on a regular basis, working again on a regular basis able, he is been our rock defensively.”

Wait who’s Jimmy?

“James. That’s my actual identify,” Villanova fifth-year senior Brandon Slater stated, and was fast to become involved.

Put some respect on the man’s identify.

“After I play like Brandon,[Neptune]hits me,” Slater stated. “After 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 carefully contested recreation, he remained a gradual presence and stored ‘Nova readily available, even because the St. Louis Cardinals superior. John’s for many of the recreation. Slater scored all 14 of his factors within the second half on 5-of-7 capturing. He posted a game-high plus-minus score 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, if you play within the recreation, you simply attempt to do the very best you may play, and in the event you mess up, play the following one, and in the event you do not, it’s a must to construct on that,” Slater stated of the large second half. “I feel I used to be simply making an attempt to play in opposition to my teammates and the coaches, and that was the one factor on my thoughts.”

Shiny lights, a basketball mecca, an ideal Friday evening prime-time slot—the situations could have been impeccable for faculty 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 received by a reasonably comfy 15-point margin after pulling out within the second half on Dec. 21, Friday evening was a lot nearer.

“We’re a younger staff, we’re making an attempt to get higher all 12 months lengthy,” stated Neptune. “Within the final recreation, I believed we discovered a strategy to win, after we did not essentially play our greatest, however that was an enormous step for us. This recreation, from begin to end defensively, we had been actually good and that is actually what we requested our guys to do, what it’s a must to do.” Simply follow the protection and produce it up.

“Win, lose or draw, if we play like that defensively, I will be pleased with our guys. We caught with it and stored enjoying arduous. It was robust. I’ve seen guys get gassed and I feel previously, perhaps we’d have given a bit bit, and our guys fought by it.”

The Crimson Storm Wildcats had been restricted to simply two pictures over the ultimate eight minutes of play.

“Once you’re on the street, you want to have the ability to make performs and catch hits,” St. John’s coach Mike Anderson stated. “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 acquired their break there. Our guys put in a fantastic effort.

“We missed a whole lot of runs, a whole lot of pictures. Take a look at the brief pictures we missed. We had probabilities however did not reap the benefits of them. I noticed one possession the place we had three rebounds and we nonetheless acquired nothing. It’s a must to put the ball in and we did not we do this “.

Whereas the Cats could have suffered from late-game offensive execution previously, they capitalized on the Crimson Storm’s shortcomings ultimately.

They shut out the sport on a recreation 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 stated of the most important distinction between the Wildcats’ first and second innings. “I felt like we had been making an attempt to get stops, making an attempt to get well within the first half, however I do not suppose we did it to the very best of our talents. In that second half we checked out one another and informed one another this was a actuality examine. We’re not doing this to the very 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 pictures made (8) and virtually as many pictures 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 recreation, together with the second half, the sport was virtually in hand, and neither staff led by double digits.

Villanova closed strong to enhance it to 10-10 total and 4-5 in Massive 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 may have a protracted layoff and might be again in motion on Sunday, January 29, once they host Windfall at 12 p.m. EST.

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