With the score knotted at 58 deep into the fourth quarter, Darren Harris drained a 3-pointer that put the Panthers ahead for good. Harris’ shot was the beginning of an 11-0 run that sealed it for Paul VI.
DeShawn Harris-Smith led the way for the Panthers (19-1, 8-0 WCAC) with 23 points, 10 rebounds, seven assists and six steals. Harris added 14 points while Ben Hammond had 10.
Donnie Freeman paced St. John’s (17-2, 4-2) with 17 points. Daquan Davis finished with 14.
The two D.C. powers battled to a 26-all tie after the first 16 minutes of action. The Cadets’ Ray Watts netted 10 first-half points while Harris-Smith led the Panthers with seven.
St. John’s held a 50-45 lead after three quarters, but the Panthers’ fourth-quarter defense was the difference.
It was the 12th straight victory for Paul VI since suffering a 57-55 loss to No. 5 Columbus on Dec. 20. The only other team without a blemish in WCAC play is Gonzaga College (18-1, 5-0), which plays Our Lady of Good Counsel (12-8, 3-4) on Wednesday. The Eagles, ranked 19th in the latest SBLive/Sports Illustrated Power 25, and Paul VI will face off Friday at Gonzaga.