St. John’s basketball victory over Villanova costly for young alumnus

St. John's basketball (Wendell Cruz-USA TODAY Sports)
St. John's basketball (Wendell Cruz-USA TODAY Sports) /

St. John’s basketball victory over No. 3 Villanova was costly for one young alumnus. 

Entering Wednesday’s battle with the No. 3 Villanova Wildcats (11-2, 6-1 Big East), the St. John’s basketball team was nearly a ten-point underdog.

While the Red Storm (12-7, 6-6 Big East) seemed to have turned a corner, winning four straight games prior to the Wildcats coming to Queens for the first time since 1994, the inconsistencies that surrounded the program for years still loomed in the minds of many.

That includes recent St. John’s undergraduate Dylan Hornik.

Hornik, a member of the 2017 graduating class, tweeted just prior to tipoff that he would donate $1 for every retweet he received if the Johnnies were to knock off the ‘Cats.

As St. John’s erased an early 10-3 deficit to eventually take a 26-25 lead, the number of retweets grew.

“I had no real thought of [St. John’s] winning,” Hornik told Storm The Paint.

The aforementioned inconsistencies and recent dominant play of Villanova contributed to Hornik’s thought process.

“As an alum, I was hoping that they were going to win but I didn’t think Jay Wright and No. 3 Villanova were going to go into Carnesecca Arena and lay down or roll over, but that’s exactly what happened.”

The Red Storm took a 14-point lead on the Wildcats with 13:46 left in regulation and the tweet grew more.

St. John’s sophomore forward Julian Champagnie hit a three-pointer to push the Johnnies’ lead to 15 points with 7:08 to play and Jay Wright called timeout.

The tweet grew even more.

Immediately following the timeout freshman guard Posh Alexander picked the pocket of Villanova senior point guard Collin Gillespie which led to a dunk and a St. John’s 17 point lead, it’s largest of the game.

There was no chance Hornik was going to delete his tweet as he could only watch his phone to see how many more retweets he would get as the game concluded.

“It turned into more than a few bucks,” Hornik said.

But all hope wasn’t gone as he cheered for his alma mater and his bank account cheered for Villanova.

The ‘Cats cut the Red Storm’s lead to nine with 3:55 to play but Jeremiah Robinson-Earl could not hit the back end of a one-and-one and Champagnie rattled off the next seven points for St. John’s en route to its 70-59 victory.

The tweet had officially gone off then rails.

St. John’s Men’s Basketball Twitter quote tweeted him, saying Hornik was about to be broke before the final score was even posted on its account.

It wasn’t too far off.

As the tweet continued to blossom over night, Hornik did not want to go back on his word, so he capped it early on Thursday morning at 500 retweets, resulting in a $500 donation to the St. John’s athletics fund.

Dylan Hornik’s original tweet even got a retweet from St. John’s Athletic Director, Mike Cragg.

“If [the tweet] got 1,000 or 2,000 retweets I could have gone back on my word, but I didn’t want to do that,” Hornik explained, and the recent graduate got a bonus from Cragg as he invited the young alumnus to sit with him at a Red Storm game next season.

St. John’s basketball and athletics greatly appreciates the donation

With no fans being allowed to file into Carnesecca Arena as the Johnnies make a thrilling midseason push to the postseason, Mike Cragg told Storm the Paint that he’s been thrilled with what he’s seen from donors and alumni given the hardships of the past calendar year:

“We’ve grown a lot and even through a year where we can’t have fans we still figured out a way to keep growing. It’s exciting,” Cragg said, “it’s been beyond my expectations, honestly, and we couldn’t be more thankful to all of our fans and alums.”

However, there is still a lot of season left. A lot of more big games for St. John’s to potentially win, would Dylan Hornik ever dare try this again?

“Maybe if St. John’s is playing in the Round of 32 [of the NCAA Tournament] with a chance to go to the Sweet 16. Maybe.”

“If [Horink] does it again, I’ll retweet it again,” Cragg said jokingly.

However, aside from his excitement that the Red Storm are now in contention for an NCAA Tournament berth Hornik did have one lasting revelation from his viral tweet:

“My bank account probably wants me to stay away from Twitter.”

Trending. St. John’s basketball can establish itself as true tournament contender. light