VILLANOVA, Pa. (AP)Maddy Siegrist scored 18 of her 32 points in the fourth quarter and No. 25 Villanova defeated St. John’s 64-61 on Saturday after trailing by 16 points midway through the fourth quarter.
A three-point play by Jayla Everett gave St. John’s a 59-43 lead with 5:28 remaining in the game before a personal 11-0 run by Siegrist drew the Wildcats within 59-54 with 2:59 remaining.
After Jillian Archer’s putback stopped the run for St. John’s, the Villanova defense continued to dominate and the Red Storm did not score again, their final five possessions ending in four turnovers and a blocked shot.
Maddie Burke drilled two 3-pointers to get Villanova within 61-60 and two free throws by Siegrist put the Wildcats up 62-61 with 41 seconds left. Siegrist and Christina Dalce both made one of two from the line two close out the win while the Red Storm’s only shot attempt was blocked by Siegrist, her fourth of the game.
Siegrist, who leads the nation with 28.7 points per game, made 13 of 25 shots and 5 of 7 free throws in her ninth 30-point game of the season. She moved into second on the all-time Big East scoring list with 1,346, trailing only Sarah Behn who scored 1,546 points for Boston College (1989-1993).
Burke had 12 points and Dalce 10 rebounds for Villanova (16-3, 7-1 Big East).
Everett and backup guard Unique Drake scored 13 points each to lead St. John’s to a 39-27 lead at halftime. The Red Storm added three points to their advantage in the third quarter before being outscored 25-7 in the fourth.
Everett finished with 18 points and Kadaja Bailey scored 13 for St. John’s (14-3, 5-3). Drake did not score in the second half and her 13 points represented all of the Red Storm’s bench points.
The Wildcats also relied heavily on their starters, getting only seven points off the bench.
Villanova hosts Xavier on Tuesday. St. John’s, which has lost three of four since opening the season 13-0, hosts Marquette on Tuesday.
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