St. John's Visits Villanova for Showdown with Wildcats

Feb. 8, 2018

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QUEENS, N.Y. - Coming off back-to-back victories on their home court, the Johnnies will look to grab their third consecutive win when they travel to  Villanova on Friday to take on the Wildcats in a matinee game at  Jake Nevin Field House.

Tip-off is set for 11:30 a.m. on the BIG EAST Digital Network with Matt Martucci and Christine Motta on the call.

The Red Storm (14-10, 7-6) enters Friday's contest on the heels of a 34-point victory over Xavier. That wide margin combined with the team's 38-point victory over Butler last Friday marked the first back-to-back 30-plus point victories since Jan. 1984, when the Johnnies defeated former BIG EAST foes Syracuse and Connecticut by 30 and 56, respectively.

Also setting season-lows for opponent scoring totals in consecutive outings last weekend, the Red Storm held its opponent under 40 in back-to-back contests for the first time since 1975-76.

As, a team the Johnnies defense has locked in on the court, St. John's is ranked first in the BIG EAST in blocked shots, averaging 4.9 a game through 24 games. In conference play alone the Johnnies rank first in scoring defense (57.4) and field goal percentage defense (38.8), in addition they are second in rebounding defense (33.3) behind Butler.

In the team's most recent outing Alisha Kebbe led the way for the Johnnies finishing just one rebound shy of her second-career double-double as the sophomore recorded a game-high 15 points and nine rebounds.

In addition to Kebbe's stellar performance, senior Maya Singleton  and junior Akina Wellere  produced for the Red Storm, combining for 22 points.  Singleton also grabbed seven rebounds, dished out one assist, and grabbed a steal. The Indian Head, Md. native remains at the top of the ranks for rebounding average in the BIG EAST with 11.2 boards per game.

Sunday will mark the 66th all-time meeting between St. John's and Villanova with the Wildcats having won five of the previous seven meetings between the programs.  The Johnnies own the most recent victory, however, as they downed Villanova 70-64 just under a month ago at Carnesecca Arena.

The Johnnies most recent victory over the Wildcats saw Singleton collect her 13th double-double of the season with 16 points and 11 rebounds. The senior also dished out a career-high five assists and stole a pass.

Kebbe also found her stroke from outside last time out against the Wildcats, hitting a pair of triples to lead the Johnnies from downtown. The sophomore totaled 16 points on 5-of-10 (50%) shooting from the field, while also tallying six rebounds.

Villanova (18-5, 8-4) enters Friday's contest having won three consecutive games, including a 68-67 victory over Georgetown on Sunday at Jake Nevin Field behind a 17-point performance from Mary Gedaka.

The Wildcats currently lead the BIG EAST in three defensive categories: scoring defense (59.1), field goal percentage defense (37.7) and three-point field goal percentage defense (27.7). In addition Villanova ranks second in blocked shots (4.1) behind St. John's.

Following Friday's game with Villanova, the Red Storm will travel to Georgetown to take on the Hoyas on Feb. 11 at 2 p.m.



The Last Meeting
St. John's70
January 14, 2018
Queens, N.Y. (Carnesecca Arena)
St. John's Captures Fifth-Straight Win, Downs Wildcats, 70-64
Playing its third game in the span of just five days, the St. John's women's basketball team collected its fifth-consecutive win by defeating Villanova, 70-64, on Sunday afternoon at Carnesecca Arena.



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