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Villanova rolls St. John’s, 79-59

The Wildcats are rounding into form suddenly.

COLLEGE BASKETBALL: JAN 28 Villanova at St John’s Photo by Gregory Fisher/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images

Saddiq Bey scored 23 points en route to a decisive, 20-point win for the Villanova Wildcats Tuesday night. The Wildcats defeated the St. John’s Red Storm 79-59, and they have suddenly won seven games in a row and have gone 13-1 in their last 14 games.

The win didn’t come so easy at first. St. John’s built up a 13-6 lead by the 14:56 mark. But from there, ‘Nova would dominate. They went on a 22-6 run up until the 5:21 mark, and closed things out by outscoring the Johnnies 33-13 from that 14:56 mark onwards.

With a 39-26 lead at the half, Villanova was bent on keeping things intact. But St. John’s delivered a pretty strong counterpunch in the early goings. They, however, could not keep up with Villanova’s crisp outside shooting. Three of Villanova’s first five baskets in the second half came from long range, as they were able to propel themselves up to a 52-40 lead at the 13:24 mark.

They added to free throws to get to 54-40, and then went on a run from 9:50 to 7:11, in which Bey dropped seven of the nine unanswered points scored over that stretch. That propped them up by 24 points, their largest lead of the game, and would of course go on to win by 20.

Villanova was powered by Bey’s 23 points and four other players who got into double figures. Collin Gillespie had 17 points with 13 rebounds and six assists on 50 percent from the floor (7-14 FG). Jeremiah Robinson-Earl scored 13 points and pulled down 14 rebounds, putting together a quality double-double. And elsewhere, Justin Moore and Cole Swider each scored 11 points. Brandon Slater and Dhamir Cosby-Roundtree finished out the scoring with two points each.

St. John’s’ Rasheem Dunn led the way on Tuesday with 24 points in the losing effort. LJ Figueroa was the only other Johnnie to get into double figures, as he scored 12 points on 5-of-14 from the floor. No one else scored more than six points, as the Red Storm’s 41 percent mark from the field just could not get it done. They shot just 31.6 percent from deep, which paled to Villanova’s 41.4 percent mark, as ‘Nova also dropped in twice as many 3-pointers (12) as St. John’s had (6).

‘Nova will look to keep their winning ways going this weekend when they play the Creighton Bluejays on Saturday. St. John’s, meanwhile, will hope to rebound off this loss when they face the Georgetown Hoyas on Super Sunday at The Garden.