LJ Figueroa scored a game-high 22 points and added 12 rebounds Sunday as St. John’s rallied from a 19-point first-half deficit to upset No. 13 Villanova 71-65 at sold-out Madison Square Garden, boosting the Red Storm’s quest for an NCAA at-large berth.
Figueroa also added four steals for St. John’s (19-7, 7-6 Big East), which also got 19 points from Mustapha Heron and 13 from Justin Simon. Star guard Shamorie Ponds, who entered the day averaging 28.7 points per game over the last two seasons against the Wildcats, made only 2 of 14 shots from the field and was held to 11 points.
However, the Red Storm also kept both of Villanova’s senior stars in check. Phil Booth hit just 2 of 11 shots from the floor and scored 13 points, while Eric Paschall converted only 2 of 11 attempts and finished with 11, although he added 14 rebounds and four assists. Joe Cremo led the Wildcats with 14 points, and Saddiq Bey tallied 11.
Figueroa’s 3-pointer with 3:52 left in the game gave St. John’s a 58-57 lead. The Wildcats (20-6, 11-2) went scoreless for 3:50 while the Red Storm rattled off eight straight points. St. John’s canned 12 consecutive foul shots in the last 1:24 to seal it.
No. 9 Houston 85, Tulane 50
Corey Davis Jr. tied a career high with 26 points, and the Cougars opened the second half with a 39-10 blitz and routed Tulane in an American Athletic Conference mismatch at New Orleans.
Davis went 8 of 11 from the 3-point line for the Cougars (25-1, 12-1 American), who sank 17 of 35 attempts from behind the 3-point arc, including 9 of their first 11 in the second half. Armoni Brooks scored 24, sinking 6 of 8 treys.
Caleb Daniels paced the Green Wave (4-20, 0-12), who have lost 14 consecutive games, with 13 points. Samir Sehic was good for 12. Tulane converted only 32.1 percent from the field and allowed a whopping 26 fast-break points while scoring just two.
No. 11 Michigan State 62, Ohio State 44
The Spartans, short-handed because of foul trouble and an injury, still closed the game with an 18-2 run over the final 7:40 to blow out Ohio State at East Lansing, Mich., and remain tied for first place in the Big Ten.
Nick Ward was on the bench in the second half with an injured left wrist, and Xavier Tillman and Cassius Winston had four and three fouls, respectively, but the Spartans (21-5, 12-3 Big 10) still made their run. Matt McQuaid, who led the team with 14 points, hit a 3-pointer to cap a 10-0 burst as Michigan took a 52-42 lead.
Winston added 13 points and eight assists, and Kenny Goins chipped in 10 points and 10 rebounds for the Spartans. Kaleb Wesson scored 12 points, the only player for the Buckeyes (16-9, 6-8) in double figures, and added nine rebounds. Andre Wesson added eight rebounds.
—Field Level Media