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St. John’s upsets Villanova in Queens

The Red Storm have done it again.

NCAA Basketball: Villanova at St. John Wendell Cruz-USA TODAY Sports

Don’t look now, but the St. John’s Red Storm are suddenly the hottest team in the Big East.

The Red Storm pulled to 12-7 on the season Wednesday night with a 70-59 upset of #3 Villanova at Carnesecca Arena.

Big East Freshman of the Year frontrunner Posh Alexander led the way for the Red Storm, with 16 points and six assists to go along with three steals, as he also recorded a team-high 36 minutes of action.

Big East leading scorer Julian Champagnie also had a big game. After being held scoreless in the first half, the sophomore forward had 14 points in the final 20 minutes of the game, and hauled in 13 rebounds in the game for his fourth double-double of the season.

For Villanova, the game marked their first loss in Big East play this season, and first loss since November 28’s overtime loss to Virginia Tech. Their 59 point output was ‘Nova’s lowest scoring total since last season’s 58-54 loss against Providence. The Wildcats seemed to struggle to find consistency after the first ten minutes of the game, in which they scored 19 points and looked like they would be cruising to another victory.

As we’ve seen so many times under Mike Anderson, though, St. John’s made things tough for ‘Nova, forcing the Wildcats into an uncharacteristic 17 turnovers and turning those into 19 points. Villanova also struggled to get going from long-range, going 8-30 from deep. We’ve seen it time and time again over the past five years from Jay Wright’s teams, when the three-pointer isn’t working for them, they will often struggle.

Caleb Daniels led the Wildcats with 16 points. Jeremiah Robinson-Earl had 14 points to go along with a career-high 17 rebounds.

Villanova (11-2, 6-1) will be back in action Sunday when they host the Georgetown Hoyas. St. John’s (12-7, 6-6) head to Providence Saturday for a meeting with the Friars.