Last week, Pittsburgh native D. J. Kennedy finally beat his local Pitt Panthers. On Feb. 26, it was Sean Evans’ turn.
Evans, a Philadelphia native, helped the No. 23 St. John’s men’s basketball team beat No. 15 Villanova 81-68 and survive a late surge by the Wildcats.
Villanova (21-8, 9-7) cut the Red Storm’s lead to three with nine minutes left in the game, but Evans brought the lead back up to five minutes later after taking a pass from Justin Brownlee.
A few possessions later, Corey Stokes hit a three-pointer to bring the Red Storm’s lead to two, and Evans again answered his hometown team’s jab with one of his own, getting another lay-in and the foul that followed.
Minutes later, Justin Burrell was called for his fifth foul as Maalik Wayans drew contact and made the lay-up, but that was as far as the Wildcats came to topping the Johnnies, who have now won six straight and eight of their last nine.
The win gives St. John’s its first on the road over a ranked opponent this season, rounding out an NCAA tournament resume that also includes five home wins over ranked teams.
Senior guard Dwight Hardy eclipsed 30 points for the third time during the team’s stretch, totaling 34 points on 9-of-16 shooting to set another career-high. D.J. Kennedy posted a double-double with his 12 points and 12 rebounds.
Stokes led the Wildcats with 20 points on 7-of-11 shooting. Wayans had 19 points and five assists.
St. John’s (19-9, 11-5) led by as many as 14 in the first half largely due to their 8-of-18 clip from three-point range. The Red Storm didn’t trail once during the game.