Final Score: Villanova 60, St. John's 42
Player of the Game: Corey Stokes, 13 pts, 5 reb
Recap: Villanova got out to a quick start with a 16-2 run and never looked back. They followed up their best defensive effort of the season against Georgetown with an even better performance tonight. They held the Red Storm to 42 points (13 in the first half) and 26% shooting. It was tough to pick a player of the game because the scoring was so balanced, and Stokes, Anderson, and Cunningham were all worthy. So for the rest of the game recap I'll hand out awards, Bill Simmons style.
The Ben Gordon Award for "Saving your best games for the Garden"
Corey Stokes had the best game of his young career tonight with 13 points under the bright lights of Madison Square Garden. He was considered by many scouts as one of the best shooters in the country coming out of high school and was a McDonald's All-American, but he has struggled shooting most of the season. He was 4-7 from the field, 3-5 for three and 2-2 from the free throw line. Stokes seems to have found his confidence and is heating up from behind the arc, shooting 38% over the last eight games.
The Sports Illustrated Swimsuit Addition Award for "Most pleasant sight of the game"
Seeing Malcolm Grant back on the court in the regular rotation was a major relief. He didn't have a great night (2 pts, 1 ast), but this should put an end to transfer speculations. He appears to have served his time for whatever reason Jay was benching him.
The Michael Myers Award for "Scariest moment of the game"
This goes to that scary moment in the second half when Scottie Reynolds twisted his ankle and left the court in pain. He never returned after playing 21 minutes and notching 6 points and 2 assists. Scottie wanted to return, and Jay Wright said he would have put him back in if the game got close. He should be ready to go versus West Virginia on Wednesday.
The Roger Clemens' Wife Used HGH, but He Didn't Award for "Biggest surprise of the season"
Dwayne Anderson has surprised many fans with his recent surge in production. He had another good night, recording a double-double with 11 points and 10 rebounds.
The Dwight Howard Award for "Dunk of the night"
Although they weren't as amazing as Dwight's from the NBA slam dunk contest, Dante Cunningham had a couple throw-downs tonight. Dante is probably the best dunker on the team. He was the Wildcats' second-leading scorer tonight with 12 points.
The Charles Oakley Award for "Most intimidating hard foul of the game"
This one goes to Casiem Drummond for his hard foul along the baseline. The play before it, one of the St. John's players was complaining about a no-call when he felt Drummond fouled him. The next play Casiem sent a message by showing him what a real foul is. As the St. John's player drove the baseline Drummond stepped in, and the St. John's player ran into him then went flying to the floor, as if he ran into a brick wall.
The Al Borland Award for "Handyman of the game"
Antonio Pena did a little bit of everything tonight. He scored 4 points, grabbed 6 rebounds, led the team in assists with 3, and had 2 blocks. Although I'd like to see more scoring from Pena, he had an all-around solid game.
The Flash Award for "Quickest appearance of the night"
This one goes to Frank Tchuisi for his one minute of action at the end of the game. If you weren't paying attention, you may have missed him. He missed one shot in his short time on the court.
Next Game: Wed. Feb. 20, 8:00 pm, vs. West Virginia, at the Pavilion