The Prudential Center saw Seton Hall host Villanova Basketball in a battle of two teams who can still earn a share of the Big East title. With a home win on FS1, Kevin Willard’s squad would win the Big East outright, a feat Seton Hall has not accomplished since led by Terry DeHere in the ‘92-’93 season.
Coach Jay Wright’s Villanova Basketball team has won the Big East regular-season outright five of the past 6 seasons, and while a lot of working parts have to fall into place to make that accomplishment happen this year, a win on the road would go a long way to achieving it, and in turn, pad their résumé.
The Associated Press has ranked the Wildcats every week this season while being in the top 10 five of those weeks. The last time these two teams met less than a month ago, Villanova came up short 70-64 despite a twenty-two point performance by Saddiq Bey on 7 of 13 shooting. Villanova could not overcome the 9 for 9 shooting from the free-throw line by Seton Hall that continuously thwarted the momentum they needed for a run similar to how they ended the first half of that game
On Senior’s night, it was a back and forth contest which saw Villanova take the largest lead of the game at 45-34 after a Saddiq Bey (20 points) made a free-throw with 16:43 left. Seton Hall would cut that lead by the 7:51 mark to 60-55.
The game which saw Villanova enter the locker room at halftime with a 33-30 lead, would see them enter the locker room at the end of the game with a 79-77 victory. The game seemed to almost be over when Justin Moore connected on a three-point jumper with 3:51 to put Villanova up 69-63.
Missed free-throws by Villanova kept the game exciting as the Wildcats missed five of six with under 30 seconds remaining. With this narrow victory, Villanova improves to 12-5 to remain second in the Big East and move within one game of Seton Hall. Whether they end up earning a share of the Big East regular-season title or not, the conference tournament will give Jay Wright an opportunity to work on and build upon everything he has learned.