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Foye, Ray direct No. 4 'Nova past St. John's

VILLANOVA, Pa. (AP) -- Randy Foye and Allan Ray had played
through the lean NIT years at Villanova, and led a resurgence that
has the senior guards thinking national championship.

They had been through too much to let injury or emotion stand in
their way of leaving their home court winners.

Foye scored 14 straight points for No. 4 Villanova and finished
with 21, and Ray shook off a sprained knee to score 15 in the
Wildcats' 65-52 win over St. John's on Wednesday night.

"I kind of got emotional out there, but I didn't want nobody to
see me tear up," Foye said.

No tears, though Foye did tear it up.

Two of the most instrumental players in returning the Wildcats
(23-3, 13-2 Big East) to the nation's elite, Foye and Ray took
turns carrying the scoring load in each half of their final home
game, and helped the Wildcats finish 12-1 at home this season.

"We enjoyed this and we wanted to cherish every moment of it,"
coach Jay Wright said.

Foye hit four 3-pointers in a stretch where he scored 14
straight Villanova points in the first half that helped build a
nine-point lead. Playing with a brace on his left knee after he
sprained it in a loss Sunday at Connecticut, Ray showed no signs of
pain while driving toward some late-game baskets that helped the
Wildcats pull away.

"The brace was really good, it eliminated the pain," Ray said.
"Even if I was on the bench I was still going to cheer the guys
on. Just to play was very special."

The Red Storm (12-14, 5-10) hung tight most of the game, still
within single digits with 6{ minutes left, but simply didn't have
enough to keep pace with the Wildcats. Eugene Lawrence and Lamont
Hamilton each scored 15 points for the Red Storm.

Ricky Torres made his only basket of the game, a 3-pointer,
midway through the half to pull St. John's within 46-39. Hamilton
kept the deficit at seven when he scored on a tip-in, but Ray
answered any questions about his health with a dunk and Mike Nardi
hit a 3 to help give the Wildcats a 17-point lead.

They cruised from there, allowing Ray and Foye to leave the
court to a standing ovation and each shared a hug with Wright. Ray
scored 12 points in the second half.

Foye and Ray were the only regular starters as part of a senior
night lineup. Chris Charles, Baker Dunleavy and Jason Fraser
started for the Wildcats and were honored during a pregame
ceremony. They were all greeted by Wright and Curtis Sumpter, who
would have been part of the senior class had he not twice torn his
ACL and took a medical redshirt.

The Wildcats had a busy last two days, holding two news
conferences to update Ray and Sumpter's injuries, prepare for an
emotional senior night and answer questions about being able to
bounce back from the UConn loss.

"You're always concerned about how it's going to affect these
guys," Wright said.

There was little need to worry in this one.

St. John's shot well in the first half when it was able to hold
on to the ball. Possession was a problem, with the Red Storm
committing 13 turnovers in the first 12 minutes of the game. Still,
it was tied until Foye took over, hitting a 3, a 19-footer, then
three straight 3-pointers. Foye finished with 16 points in the
first half as the Wildcats took a 35-30 lead.

The Red Storm finished with 27 turnovers and shot 29 percent in
the second half after a solid 56 percent in the first.

"We have to do a better job of taking care of the basketball,
but their pressure had a lot to do with it." coach Norm Roberts
said.

The Red Storm need a victory against Rutgers on Sunday for a
chance to be one of the 12 teams in next week's Big East tournament
in Madison Square Garden.

"We're supposed to go," Lawrence said. "It's our home away
from home. For us not to make it would be really disappointing."