VILLANOVA– Heading into their clash with Villanova, St. John’s forward Julian Champagnie was averaging 19.8 points per game.
The Wildcats held him to nine on 4-12 shooting and 0-4 from three.
“A good team effort but Justin Moore did a really good job,” Wright said. “He was on him most of the game, but there’s no way you can let one guy– Justin’s on him doing a great job but the other guys were helping out when we had to switch on to him when we did, we doubled him a couple times, he’s a serious offensive threat and we know he can get it going, at any time you know he can get it going and get on a tear.”
“He lit us up before.”
Stopping Champagnie was key in the Wildcats 73-62 victory over the Red Storm on Saturday evening at the Finneran Pavilion.
“They are a really difficult team to play,” Wright said. “Mike does a great job of creating that “40-minutes of Hell”, they just keep coming after you they never stop, they’re aggressive, they’re physical, it’s a hard game to play.”
St. John’s is known for what Wright alluded to as “40-minutes of Hell”: A run-and-gun, turn the ball over type of style.
“Anytime we turned it over they’re out, they’re gone,” Wright said. “They’re great at it, they run hard, they give the ball up, you watch film on them, the ball doesn’t touch the floor, they’re great at that.”
The Wildcats neutralized that style by only turning the ball over 11 times.
“Just trying to be as solid as we possibly can with the ball,” Villanova point guard Collin Gillespie said. “Our guys did a good job at giving guys passes and just making solid decisions.”
Gillespie led the way for Villanova with 17 points. Caleb Daniels finished with 15, as well as Eric Dixon.
Up next for Villanova is a date with Marquette where the Wildcats will be looking to avenge their January 19 57-54 loss to the Golden Eagles at the Finneran Pavilion.
No special preparation is needed for Villanova.
“The good thing is you don’t have to say anything to the guys about that, they know that,” Wright said. “Our mantra is always willing to keep getting better the next day, it’s actually easier when you know the next team we have coming up beat you and they’re a nationally ranked team, it shouldn’t be this way but it’s human nature, they’re a little more dialed in.”