NEW YORK (AP) -Scottie Reynolds scored 19 points and No. 4 Villanova beat St. John's 81-71 on Saturday to match the best start in school history.
The Wildcats equaled the 1950-51 team by improving to 18-1, and are 7-0 in the Big East for the first time.
Villanova trailed 36-28 with less than 2 minutes left in the first half before Reynolds led a quick spurt that pulled the Wildcats within a point at the break. He scored six during a 9-2 run, capped by a long jumper with 3 seconds left.
The Wildcats took control midway through the second half, scoring 12 straight points to go up 60-49 with about 10 minutes remaining. Villanova got out on transition on three possessions in a row, with Reynolds twice drawing fouls and hitting all four free throws.
Villanova has won six straight against St. John's (12-7, 2-5).
St. John's led by as many as 11 in the first half. Dwight Hardy scored 11 points in 3 minutes as the Red Storm went on a 16-0 run, then didn't attempt a shot the last 10 minutes of the half. He matched a career high with 19 points.
After shooting over 56 percent in the first half, St. John's missed 17 of its first 21 attempts to start the second. The Red Storm fell to 0-4 against ranked teams this season.
Leading scorer D.J. Kennedy had just three points in the first half, attempting two field goals and missing both. He came in averaging 15.6 points but finished with 10 on 2-of-12 shooting.
Corey Fisher had 18 points for Villanova and Maalik Wayns added 16.
St. John's backup forward Justin Brownlee, who averages 7.8 points and 5.9 rebounds, missed the game because of a death in the family. Anthony Mason Jr. made his first start of the season in place of Dele Coker against Villanova's small lineup.
Mason was playing just his fifth game because of hamstring injury. His 10 points were the most since his return.
The Associated Press News Service
The Associated Press
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