Villanova's nine-game winning streak is over.
The No. 3 Wildcats were upset by St. John's on Wednesday night, 70-59, which was their first loss since Nov. 28. Villanova struggled immensely with the Red Storm's relentless full-court press, turning the ball over a season-high 17 times.
St. John's was just as good in the half court, holding the always-dangerous Wildcats to 26.7 percent shooting (8-of-30) from three. And the offense did its part despite leading scorer Julian Champagnie (19.8 PPG) having an off night.
The Red Storm are pretty hot at the moment, having now won five straight games. In the deep Big East, they are emerging as a legitimate threat.
Posh Alexander, SJ: 16 points, six assists
Julian Champagnie, SJ: 14 points (4-of-12 from the field), 13 rebounds
Vince Cole, SJ: 12 points
Collin Gillespie, NOVA: 4 points, 6 assists, 6 turnovers
Jeremiah Robinson-Earl, NOVA: 14 points, 17 rebounds
Caleb Daniels, NOVA: 16 points
Alexander Continues His Excellent Freshman Season
Alexander's on-ball defense and offensive performance was too much for a talented Villanova side Wednesday. That should have come as no surprise considering Alexander has already been named the Big East Freshman of the Week three times this season.
He's been awesome in the team's winning streak, finishing five straight games with at least 15 points.
Before the game, Villanova head coach Jay Wright had nothing but praise for Alexander, saying he was the type of player who puts fear into a coach because he can take an opponent's point guard out of the game:
That proved prescient. Alexander was a standout Wednesday.
Villanova Needed More From Gillespie
Gillespie came into Wednesday night averaging 15.5 points and 4.7 assists this season. He didn't have anywhere near that impact against St. John's.
Whether he just had an off night or the Red Storm's defense was that good—it probably was a combination of the two—Villanova won't win often when its senior point guard struggles to the degree he did against St. John's.
The Wildcats are loaded with talent, but they largely laid an egg against St. John's. Senior leaders like Gillespie are typically the guys who snap teams out of funks, but he wasn't able to do so Wednesday.
Villanova will look to lick its wounds vs. Georgetown on Sunday at 2:30 p.m. ET. St. John's is back in action at Providence on Saturday at 2 p.m. ET.