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Villanova enjoys 80-54 wire-to-wire win over Seton Hall

The Wildcats put together a superb performance on Super Bowl Sunday in their win over the Pirates.

NCAA Basketball: Providence at Villanova Kyle Ross-USA TODAY Sports

The Villanova Wildcats finally found their mojo once again. On Super Bowl Sunday, the ‘Cats put together a superb performance against the Seton Hall Pirates in a wire-to-wire 80-54 beatdown.

The ‘Cats started off strong by bringing the score to 7-0 within the first three minutes. For the past couple of games, Nova’s downfall has been their slow starts, but obviously, something clicked.

“I thought that was one of our best offensive efforts we’ve had all year,” Villanova coach Kyle Neptune said. “You know, both defending and on the glass, our guys came out with a lot of energy. When we defend a rebound like that, I think we got a chance against anybody.”

Eric Dixon led the ‘Cats in scoring during the first half, accumulating 12 of his team-high 18 points.

The ‘Cats biggest run was 10-0, and they maintained a steady lead throughout the entire first half, the largest being a 15-point edge that they rode into a 39-24 lead.

They shut down Seton Hall’s Kadary Richmond, limiting him to just 12 points on 4-of-10 shooting, and they held the edge on the glass.

Neptune also added, “We want to be a team that defends the rebounds at a high level, and we feel like if we can do that every single time we come out, we give ourselves a good chance.”

The second half of the game was just as electric as the first, from forcing 15 total turnovers and the sheer number of three-point shots that Villanova’s program is known for.

The ‘Cats were on fire from three-point range, sinking 14-of-30 attempts from deep. (46.7%)

“I think it was how hard we played,” Neptune said. “I thought we were very intense, I thought we sprinted back into transition every time, I thought we were in a stance for the entire possession. I think we just played extremely hard.”

Sophomore guard Brendan Hausen also proved to be a key player for this game, as he racked up a total of 17 points, which is just one point shy of his career high. He made five out of his eight attempted three-point shots and maintained a steady presence throughout the game.

“I don’t even know what’s going through my head when that happens,” Hausen said. “You know, I’m just supposed to sprint back and get ready for a stop. It’s just exciting to see [the shot] go in.” He said in the post-game press conference.

This is also the third game in a row where Hausen has managed to score points in the double figures.

“When he gets hot, he gets hot.” Dixon commented, noting that there is no intentional offensive scheme, the ‘Cats just follow whoever is on fire in any particular game.

Dixon had 18 points and five boards. Hausen finished with 17 points on 6-of-9 shooting. T.J. Bamba finished with 14 points, while Mark Armstrong had 12 points and five assists.

For Seton Hall, Al-Amir Dawes had 14 points and shot 4-of-7 from deep. Richmond added 12 points in the loss, but had six turnovers.

Villanova improves to 13-11 overall and 6-7 in Big East play.

The Villanova Wildcats will next face off against the Georgetown Hoyas on Friday, February 16th at 7:00 EST.