NEWARK, N.J- Seton Hall dominated the first, Villanova came back strong in the second and held down the Hall’s attempts to come back until the Pirates tied it up and took the game to overtime.
Seton Hall went on to win the game in overtime against Villanova 66-61 on Saturday afternoon at the Prudential Center in the second conference game for both teams. Seton Hall went up in the game quickly and led in the first half by as much as 14 points. Villanova came back, and cut the Pirates lead when Angel Delgado of Seton Hall was not in the game.
In front of a sold out crowd in Newark, N.J, Villanova wasn’t on top of their game in the first half, with the Wildcats shooting 46% percent from the foul line, 28% percent from the field and 27% from three.
Daniel Ochefu along with Darrun Hilliard of Villanova were the bright spots on the offensive front for their team. Ochefu did everything, garnering 19 points and an outstanding 24 rebounds, and Hilliard scored 14 points.
The game in the first half was riddled with fouls from both teams. Specifically on Seton Hall’s side, most of their team was near foul trouble in the first half, and when Seton Hall forward Angel Delgado was out in the first half for an extended period, Villanova was able to make up some ground by dominating underneath the hoop and driving to the basket with more ease.
Right from the get-go in the second half, Villanova took the lead and from then on was on top, stopping Seton Hall every time they inched back within a few points.
This all changed with under a minute left when Seton Hall took the lead. The game then went back and forth, and the Pirates forced the game to overtime.
Villanova looked like they had a chance to win the game with seconds left in the game when they fouled and were only down by three, but after a costly turnover, Seton Hall went up 66-61, and Villanova just did not have enough time to come back in the game.
"We had a chance to get a three there at the end," Wright stated. "They execute defensively, get a steal, and they win the game."
The Wildcats are now 13-1, and the team would have been off to their best start in school history and gotten Jay Wright, who’s in his fourteenth season with the team, his 300th win as head coach.
Without Seton Hall freshman star Isaiah Whitehead, Sterling Gibbs had an exceptional game, filling Whitehead’s void with 20 points. "I thought our guys battled," Wright said. "We just didn't execute as well as Seton Hall did late in the game."
Villanova will travel to Madison Square Garden to face St. John’s on Tuesday, and Seton Hall will trip to Cincinnati to play Xavier on Wednesday.