No. 1 Villanova holds off Ponds, St. John’s in 78-71 win

Shamorie Ponds shushed the Villanova followers who packed Amtrak and sat in Madison Sq. Backyard anticipating another blowout win for the highest-ranked Wildcats.

Ponds punished his physique as he crashed the lane for robust buckets — going up-and-underneath and seemingly straight by means of defenders — and gave hapless St. John’s a glimmer of hope that a shocker on a 3-decade ready record is perhaps on faucet.

Ponds was a one-man band for St. John’s.

Drawback was, Donte DiVincenzo carried out a Villanova orchestra that once more hit all the fitting notes.

DiVincenzo hit six three-pointers and a matched a profession excessive with 25 factors to assist No. 1 Villanova silence a rowdy New York crowd and maintain off upset-minded St. John’s seventy eight-seventy one on Saturday night time at MSG.

“We did not look good,” coach Jay Wright stated, “however I feel the credit score goes to St. John’s.”

Ponds got here near main the Pink Storm (10-eight, zero-6 Massive East) to their first win over a No. 1 staff in 33 years. He scored a profession-excessive 37 factors in entrance of 17,123 followers on the Backyard.

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