St. John’s faces tough test vs No. 8 Nova
No. 8 Villanova (16-3, 6-1) vs. St. John’s (13-8, 2-6)
Madison Square Garden, New York; Tuesday, 6:30 p.m. EST
BOTTOM LINE: No. 8 Villanova presents a tough challenge for St. John’s. St. John’s has won one of its three games against ranked opponents this season. Villanova has moved up to No. 8 in the latest AP rankings following wins over Butler and Providence last week.
SQUAD LEADERSHIP: The versatile LJ Figueroa has averaged 15.2 points, 4.8 rebounds and 2.1 steals to lead the charge for the Red Storm. Mustapha Heron is also a top contributor, maintaining an average of 12.3 points per game. The Wildcats have been led by Collin Gillespie, who is averaging 15.1 points and 4.6 assists.
KEY CONTRIBUTOR: Gillespie has either made or assisted on 46 percent of all Villanova field goals over the last three games. The junior guard has 14 field goals and 15 assists in those games.
WINLESS WHEN: St. John’s is 0-7 this year when it scores 68 points or fewer and 13-1 when it scores at least 69.
UNBEATEN WHEN: Villanova is a perfect 13-0 when it holds an opponent to 70 points or fewer. The Wildcats are 3-3 when opponents score more than 70.
DID YOU KNOW: The St. John’s offense has recorded a turnover on only 16.4 percent of its possessions, which is the 26th-best rate in the country. The Villanova defense has forced opposing teams to turn the ball over on just 17.9 percent of all possessions (ranked 282nd among Division I teams).