There was no doubt in Villanova Coach Rollie Massimino's mind that defense was the big factor in his team's ability to hand St. John's its first loss of the season.
The 10th-ranked Redmen had averaged 78 points a game until Sunday, but Villanova held them to just 50 shots for a 62-54 victory in a Big East game at Villanova.
"We played outstanding defense," Massimino said. "We've been giving up a lot of points inside, but we didn't today. We'll get our shots, but defense is the key to how successful we will be."
As usual when the two teams meet, the game was physical. Three Redmen fouled out, including Willie Glass, who had averaged 19 points, but left late in the game with only 6 points as St. John's slipped to 9-1, 1-1 in the Big East.
The win raised Villanova's overall record to 9-3. The Wildcats are 2-0 in the Big East.
"It was a very physical game, and that's what happens when Villanova plays St. John's. But it also was a well-played game," Massimino said.
Villanova shot 15 for 24 in the first half and held a 34-19 lead at halftime.
"I didn't think the first half would ever end," St. John's Coach Lou Carnesecca said. "They played as perfect a half as you can play.
"We played much better in the second half, but that was a big hole we were in," he said.
Indiana 92, Ohio State 80--Indiana Coach Bob Knight was relieved that his sixth-ranked Hoosiers had won, but not exactly thrilled with how they did it.
"We had a 17- or 18-point lead and we let it slide away," Knight said after the Hoosiers held off the Buckeyes in the Big Ten Conference opener.
"We have had a habit of (losing leads) for a couple of years now. We're getting better at coming back than we were, but I still don't like to see that happen."
Keith Smart scored 31 points, including 20 in the first half, but it was Steve Alford who provided the Hoosiers with the spark they needed down the stretch. He got 10 of his team's final 14 points, scoring 18 points in the second half to finish with 22.
Alford's shooting helped Indiana overcome a 75-74 Ohio State lead with about four minutes left.
Ohio State played much of the game without high-scoring swingman Dennis Hopson. Hopson, averaging 30 points a game, played sparingly in the first half because of an upset stomach. He scored only four points in 10 minutes and sat out the second half.
West Virginia 64, Duquesne 50--The Mountaineers ran off the last 18 points of the game to post an Atlantic 10 Conference victory at Morgantown, W. Va.
The win gave Coach Gale Catlett his 300th career victory and lifted West Virginia's record to 8-2 overall and 4-0 in the conference. The Dukes' slipped to 5-6 overall and 1-2 in the conference.
Eric Semisch started the Mountaineers' run as he followed up a missed shot. Then a baseline drive by Herbie Brooks tied the game at 50-50 with 5:01 left.
Brooks then fed a pass to Wayne Yearwood and the 6-7 forward scored on a slam dunk to give West Virginia the lead for good at 52-50 with 4:18 left.
Oregon State 81, Arizona State 75--Guard Eric Knox led five players in double figures with 17 points as the Beavers evened their Pacific 10 record at 2-2 in Corvallis, Ore.
Oregon State, 9-3 overall, shot a blistering 64.7% from the field, making 33 of 51 attempts. The loss dropped Arizona State's conference record to 1-3. The Sun Devils are 4-6 overall.
The Beavers held their biggest lead, 52-42, about three minutes into the second half after Knox made two short jumpers and a pair of free throws.
Notre Dame 64, Yale 49--Junior guard David Rivers scored 21 points, 12 in the second half, as the Irish pulled away to win at New Haven, Conn.
Notre Dame, which led, 30-28, at halftime, opened the second half with a 18-8 run for a 48-36 lead.
The game matched Yale Coach Dick Kuchen against his former boss, Notre Dame's Digger Phelps. Kuchen was Phelps' assistant at Notre Dame from 1975-78.