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No. 22 Villanova edges No. 15 Seton Hall in Big East clash

Sportsnaut
Jan 30, 2021; Newark, New Jersey, USA; Villanova Wildcats head coach Jay Wright shouts instructions for his team during the first half against the Seton Hall Pirates at Prudential Center. Mandatory Credit: Vincent Carchietta-USA TODAY Sports
Jan 30, 2021; Newark, New Jersey, USA; Villanova Wildcats head coach Jay Wright shouts instructions for his team during the first half against the Seton Hall Pirates at Prudential Center. Mandatory Credit: Vincent Carchietta-USA TODAY Sports

Collin Gillespie scored 21 points Saturday as No. 22 Villanova nipped No. 15 Seton Hall 73-67 in a Big East Conference matchup at Newark, N.J.

Brandon Slater chipped in 17 points and Jermaine Samuels had 11 points and 11 rebounds for the visiting Wildcats (9-4, 2-1), who did not shoot particularly well from the field (42 percent) or the 3-point line (6 of 20). Villanova also committed 17 turnovers.

Seton Hall (9-3, 0-2) was paced by Bryce Aiken (22 points) and Jared Rhoden (13 points). Jamir Harris had 12 points for the Pirates, while Alexis Yetna pitched in 10 points and eight rebounds before fouling out.

Aiken made two foul shots to put Seton Hall ahead 61-60 with two minutes remaining. It was the first advantage for the Pirates since they led 39-38.

However, Justin Moore (13 points) knocked down a confident jumper on the Wildcats’ next possession, and Slater made two free throws with 41.9 seconds left. Gillespie split a pair of foul shots with 23 ticks remaining to create a 65-61 lead.

Seton Hall kept battling, but Slater’s two foul shots with 7.8 seconds left and Samuels’ two free throws with 5.0 seconds to go essentially iced the game.

The Wildcats finished 25 of 30 from the foul line in winning their second straight game against a ranked foe. They defeated then-No. 18 Xavier 71-58 on Tuesday.

Villanova jumped out to an 11-2 lead, but Seton Hall eventually went in front 20-18 with 6 1/2 minutes left in the first half. However, the Pirates made only one field goal over the final five minutes and the Wildcats went into the locker room ahead 31-28.

Moore scored nine first-half points to lead all scorers.

The Wildcats created some separation midway through the second half, using an 8-0 run to take a 54-45 lead. However, the Pirates promptly responded with a 9-1 push to get within 55-54 with 5:45 remaining.

–Field Level Media