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Hart, DiVincenzo lead Villanova past St. John’s 92-79

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PHILADELPHIA (AP) Josh Hart had 26 points and nine rebounds, Donte DiVincenzo scored a career-high 20 points and No. 4 Villanova beat St. John’s 92-79 on Saturday night.

Kris Jenkins added 15 points for the Wildcats (22-2, 9-2 Big East), who have won three in a row since a 74-72 loss at Marquette on Jan. 24. Mikal Bridges had 14 points and Jalen Brunson finished with 12.

Marcus LoVett led St. John’s (11-14, 5-7) with 23 points, and Bashir Ahmed had 15 points and seven rebounds before fouling out with 8:18 left. Shamorie Ponds also had 15 points for the Red Storm, who have lost 14 in a row against the Wildcats.

Playing in front of a packed house at the Wells Fargo Center, home of the Philadelphia 76ers, Villanova dominated from the start, with St. John’s missing its first 12 shots. LoVett finally got the Red Storm’s first bucket with 12:34 left in the first half, but the Wildcats then reeled off a 14-3 run.

DiVincenzo, who set his previous career high with 19 in Villanova’s last meeting with St. John’s on Jan. 14, had 15 points in the first half to help the Wildcats to a 46-28 lead at the break. The redshirt freshman hit a buzzer-beater in Villanova’s last game at the Wells Fargo Center just six days ago – a 61-59 win over Virginia.

Employing a frenzied full-court press that contributed to Villanova’s season-high 23 turnovers, St. John’s opened the second half on an 11-2 run to make things a little more interesting. But Brunson responded with a 3-pointer to help keep Villanova comfortably ahead.

Jenkins, the hero of last season’s national championship run, was held out of the starting lineup due to recent struggles but checked in just three minutes into the game.

BIG PICTURE

St. John’s: After going 1-17 in the Big East last season, the Red Storm continued to show improvement under second-year coach Chris Mullin. They have alternated wins and losses in their last six games, with two of the three losses in that stretch coming vs. ranked teams.

Villanova: The Wildcats held steady in first place in the competitive Big East and should move up in the national rankings with No. 2 Baylor and No. 3 Kansas both losing on Saturday.

UP NEXT

St. John’s has a week off before hosting Seton Hall next Saturday.

Villanova will play its first game on campus in three weeks, welcoming Georgetown to the Pavilion on Tuesday.

VIDEO: Zion Williamson throws down a vicious putback

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Zion Williamson made another highlight-reel play on Saturday outside of Atlanta as he threw down a vicious putback dunk at the Best of the South.

The five-star prospect has returned from a minor knee injury this spring to look like his old self in July as he’s entertained packed gyms of fans and college coaches the last two weeks.

The Class of 2018 star is currently regarded as the No. 3 overall prospect in the latest Rivals.com national rankings.

(h/t: Courtside Films)

Five-star 2018 point guard Darius Garland cuts list to six schools

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Five-star Class of 2018 point guard Darius Garland revealed the final six schools that he’s considering on Friday.

The N0. 12 overall prospect in the Class of 2018, according to Rivals, the 6-foot-0 Garland is one of the top floor generals in the nation as he is still considering Duke, Indiana, Kansas, Kentucky, UCLA and Vanderbilt.

A native of Nashville, Garland is a potentially elite perimeter threat at the college level as he’s one of the more deadly three-point marksmen in the nation.

Garland spent this spring and summer playing with Bradley Beal Elite in the Nike EYBL as he averaged 16.8 points and 4.8 assists per game in the league this spring.

VIDEO: Kentucky’s John Calipari participates in the #DriveByDunkChallenge

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The #DriveByDunkChallenge is sweeping the nation on social media this summer.

Rules to participate are pretty simple:

  1. Drive around in your vehicle.
  2. Find a basketball hoop (or a basketball ring if you’re Ted Cruz) on a random driveway.
  3. Run out of your car and dunk on that random hoop while a friend films.
  4. Run back to your car and drive away.

Let Anthony Davis show you how it works:

Pretty simple, right?

The #DriveByDunkChallenge isn’t raising money or awareness for ALS like the #IceBucketChallenge did three years ago, but it’s something harmless and fun to do to pass the time during the dog days of summer.

Sensing an opportunity to join an Internet craze, while also following in the footsteps of his former player Kentucky star, Wildcats head coach John Calipari got involved with his own dunk late Friday night.

And his video is much funnier than I thought it would be.

While most #DriveByDunkChallenge videos are done by healthy and spry teenagers who are cruising neighborhoods during the day, Calipari, and his hip replacement, got in on the fun with a late-night dunk.

I love that Calipari ditched the ball behind his back while running back to the car after the dunk.

Most people who participate in the challenge usually have their own ball and keep it with them through completion. But Calipari either picked up a random ball in the driveway or just he lost the handle with his own ball and had a turnover.

The next time Calipari goes hard on one of his point guards for losing control and playing too fast, remember this moment.

Creighton’s Khyri Thomas posterizes defender

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Creighton rising junior wing Khyri Thomas, like several of his teammates, are taking part in the Omaha Summer League this offseason.

On Thursday night, the 6-foot-3, 205-lb. Thomas eviscerated a defender with a one-handed posterization.

Thomas is coming off a breakout sophomore campaign for the Bluejays. He started all 35 games, averaging 12.3 points, 5.8 rebounds, 3.3 assists and 1.5 steals per game. Aside from the increase in offensive production, Thomas served as one of the top defenders in the Big East. He shared the Big East Defensive Player of the Year Award with Villanova’s Josh Hart and Mikal Bridges.

Zion Williamson throws down 360 windmill dunk

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Zion Williamson added another jaw-dropping dunk in the layup lines on the first night of the second live evaluation period.

Williamson and his SC Supreme team took on Each 1 Teach 1 at the Hoopseen Best of the South at the LakePoint Sporting Community in greater Atlanta.

The 6-foot-7 power forward threw down a 360 windmill dunk during his pregame routines.

Each 1 Teach 1 would pick up a 70-67 victory over SC Supreme. Williamson would end with a monster stat line of 37 points and seven rebounds.