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(Wednesday, March 13th)
Final Score: Villanova 66, St. John's 53
New York, NY (Sports Network) - Mouphtaou Yarou led all scorers with 18 points on an efficient 9-of-10 shooting display in helping Villanova advance to the quarterfinals of the Big East Tournament with a 66-53 win over St. John's at Madison Square Garden.
Villanova (20-12) improved its NCAA Tournament resume with a victory over then-No. 5 Georgetown last week and further solidified it Wednesday with a convincing win to open conference tourney play.
Ryan Arcidiacono added 15 points and five assists, while JayVaughn Pinkston totaled 12 points and nine rebounds for the seventh-seeded Wildcats, who will play second-seeded Louisville on Thursday.
St. John's saw its NCAA Tournament hopes quickly fade with a 1-6 stretch to end its regular season, playing its final three games without suspended leading scorer D.J. Harrison.
Phil Greene IV paced the 10th-seeded Red Storm (16-15) with 16 points and JaKarr Sampson followed with 13, though the pair combined to shoot 12-of-37 (32 percent) from the floor.
St. John's trailed by a dozen, 18-6 midway through the first half, but clawed back and pulled even at 24-24 by halftime.
Villanova went up by double digits with just over eight minutes remaining after Sampson was whistled for a technical foul for hanging on the rim. Darrun Hilliard made the subsequent free throws and Daniel Ochefu followed with a jumper for a 50-40 cushion.
Greene answered with a 3-pointer and a quick layup to cut the deficit to five, but the Wildcats scored the next seven points to pull away for good.
The contest pitted two of the seven Catholic basketball schools set to depart the current Big East this summer to form their own conference next season.
03/13 21:49:54 ET
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