Rysheed Jordan impresses against Villanova in defeat

Posted: January 13, 2014

NEW YORK - During a sensational second half against Villanova on Saturday, St. John's freshman Rysheed Jordan of Vaux High showed the form that earned him being named the Big East's preseason rookie of the year.

Jordan couldn't do enough to help the Red Storm beat Villanova, which defeated the Red Storm, 74-67, at Madison Square Garden, but he certainly impressed the Wildcats.

The 6-foot-4 point guard rebounded from a rough first half, when he scored two points and shot 1 for 7, but the Red Storm led at intermission, 33-31.

Jordan then began taking it to the hoop in the second half, and Villanova was left scrambling.

He scored his team's first six second-half points, all on driving layups, and that opened things up for the rest of his teammates.

In the second half he scored 10 points, shooting 5 of 7 from the field.

"We all watched him playing growing up; I've seen him play a hundred times," Villanova coach Jay Wright said. "When he gets it going he can go for 30, that's how you lose a game."

Eventually, the Wildcats started defending Jordan tighter.

"Offensively, we couldn't really stop him in the second half, and he got it going, and we had to change things up, and I think he's a talented kid," said Villanova sophomore guard Ryan Arcidiacono.

This has been an up and down year for Jordan, although he has played much better lately. He was suspended for a game on Nov. 22 against Monmouth for a violation of team rules.

Jordan has scored in double figures in four of the last six games, including a season-high 17 points in a 70-60 loss at Xavier on Dec. 31.

He is now averaging 7.3 points and 2.5 assists in 20.4 minutes.

Arcidiacono recalls playing against Jordan one or two times in all-star games.

"He is very talented, and he dominated me and dominated the game we played in high school," Arcidiacono said.

While Jordan showed explosive ability, one of the keys for the win was the play of Arcidiacono, who scored 13 points and hit 3 of 5 from the field and all four foul shots.

Entering the game a 27 percent shooter from beyond the arc, Arcidiacono hit 3 of 4 treys.

"I just put in a lot of work over time during the week in practice," Arcidiacono said. "My first one went in, and I felt good stepping into the ball, and my players gave me good passes, and I just held my follow-through."

mnarducci@phillynews.com

@sjnard

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