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Villanova Punches Seton Hall in the Mouth 80-54

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Image Credit: JD Walker – Stream Punk Entertainment

Bad things usually happen in Philadelphia for the Pirates. Seton Hall’s Men’s basketball team has infamously won down here only once in the past 30 years, and last weekend Seton Hall’s Women’s basketball team suffered their worst loss of the season up to that point, a 28 point defeat to the Wildcats at Finneran Pavilion. Meanwhile Villanova has been in their own slump losing six of their past seven games and seven of their past nine, so one of these teams was going to break their streak and get out of their funk. The Wildcats jumped on the Pirates early and never looked back, cruising to a 80-54 victory Sunday afternoon at Wells Fargo Center as Eric Dixon led four Wildcats in double figures with 18 points. Al-Amir Dawes led the Pirates with 14 points in defeat in a game in which they never held a lead. 

    Villanova sprinted out of the gate to a 7-0 lead and Seton Hall was able to come back somewhat but anytime the Pirates threatened, the Wildcats were ready to counter. Kadary Richmond hit a three pointer to bring the Pirates to within two points at 18-16 with 7 minutes left in the first half. Shortly afterwards, the Wildcats kicked off a 13-2 run punctuated by a Hakim Hart steal off Isaiah Coleman feeding TJ Bamba in transition opening up a 15 point lead for Villanova going into halftime with the Pirates on the ropes at a score of 39-24. 

Early in the second half Seton Hall showed a brief flash of life with a Richmond three pointer and a Jaden Bediako layup closing the gap to 45-34 with 13:30 left in the second half. The Wildcats turned on the jets with a 14-5 run over the next five and a half minutes with Eric Dixon backing down defenders and scoring at will, racking up 6 points during this stretch to break the game open with a 59-39 lead with 8 minutes left. At this point most of Seton Hall’s starters came out of the game and the Pirates sputtered down the stretch to their worst defeat of the season so far. 

    In the postgame press conference, Seton Hall coach Shaheen Holloway minced no words talking about his team’s performance. “They punched us in the mouth, we took it and ran away. Embarrassing all around. It’s got to get better, we got to have a short memory, we have a very good Xavier team coming in on Wednesday so we got to go back and fix a bunch of things and get ready for that game.”

Villanova coach Kyle Neptune was complimentary of Seton Hall guard Kadary Richmond and the game worked out according to their plans, forcing Richmond into six turnovers: 

“We wanted to guard him (Richmond) as tight as possible, trying to be as physical as possible with him. Obviously he’s an unbelievable player, he does so many great things besides just scoring. He passes the ball, rebounds the ball, he does so many things for their team so our guys did a good job on him.”

News and Notes:

  • Both of the Centers on Seton Hall’s roster, Jaden Bediako (flu) and Elijah Hutchins-Everett (hamstring) missed practice a few days last week but recovered enough to play. Coach Shaheen Holloway alluded to this and a few other players needing “a couple days off to rest” as factors in the sub-par performance saying “This is what happens when you don’t practice and you don’t prepare.”
  • The 26 point defeat was the worst for Seton Hall this season, surpassing a 20 point defeat at Xavier in December. The Pirate women’s team lost by 28 last week which was their worst defeat until UConn beat them by 33 points on Wednesday. 
  • Seton Hall is 1-22 at Villanova in the past 30 years stretching across three buildings, The Spectrum, Finneran Pavilion, and Wells Fargo Center.
  • The lone win was a 70-64 victory in February 2020, the season when both teams shared the Big East championship along with Creighton. Villanova has beaten Seton Hall 8 straight times since then. 
  • Villanova’s Brendan Hausen had 17 points off the bench, one behind his career high of 18 against LeMoyne earlier this season. The entire Seton Hall bench scored 14 points. Villanova’s (13-11/6-7 Big East) next game is at Georgetown on Friday at 7pm on CBS Sports Network. 
  • Seton Hall (15-9/8-5) returns home to play Xavier on Wednesday at 7pm on CBS Sports Network. Xavier defeated Seton Hall 74-54 in Cincinnati on December 23. 

JD Walker is one of the co-founders of Stream Punk Entertainment and has covered the Philadelphia Union since 2022. He has a wide-spanning career with experience in a variety of roles inside and outside the world of sports including basketball operations, gameday entertainment, promotions, broadcasting, and finance. He’s a Jersey Shore native sprung from a cage on Highway 9, and loves to geek out on the business and legal side of the games we all love.

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