Seton Hall fell behind early again and was thoroughly outmatched as they dropped their third-straight in a 76-46 blowout at No. 1 Villanova
Five Villanova players reached double figures and the Wildcats scored 27 points off 16 Seton Hall turnovers as the Pirates never really were competitive in a 30-point loss just days after Kevin Willard called out his team after a loss to Providence.
Willard owned up to what he said after the game when speaking with Gary Cohen.
“[They responded] Just the way I thought they would. We just went in there and talked about it. We got our butt kicked tonight. That was my fault, I kind of knew going into it — I acted like an idiot on Sunday. [then] I think I lost my mind at one point in the film session. There was no reason for it to be honest with you … sometimes when you lose a couple games you could have won, you lose your mind.”
Seton Hall started the game locked-in defensively but they were disrupted offensively by a three-quarter court press that Villanova rolled out to great effect.
The visitors fell behind 12-5 by the second media timeout with Angel Delgado (8 pts, 6 rebs) failing to see touches of any kind as his double-double streak ended at 11. Teetering on the edge, the Hall succumbed to an 18-5 Villanova run during a seven-minute Pirates scoring drought that put the Cats up 27-10 at the under-eight.
Thrown against the ropes, Seton Hall did show some signs of life in the closing minutes of the half and were kept relatively in the game from five made three-pointers including a pair from Desi Rodriguez (15 pts, 3 ast).
But the thing about playing at Fortress Pavilion is that “some signs of life” is not good enough.
Trailing 36-23 at the half, Seton Hall turned it over four times and scored just one point to start, allowing a 12-1 Villanova run that quickly ballooned into an ugly 51-26 deficit by the first media break.
Five Wildcat players scored at least eight at that point, highlighting a balanced attack that outmatched a decent but not great Seton Hall defense.
“They’re a little more difficult to defend, just because they’re a little more balanced,” said Willard of Villanova. “Hart has improved his game so much, Jenkins is just deadly, they space you out so much better. They’re playing smaller and when they go to those small lineups, they don’t lose any toughness.”
The Pirates fell behind by 28 entering the second media break and then 34 shortly after as things snowballed and got really ugly as the focus turned to defending pride, ultimately unsuccessfully.
When Willard was asked about this team’s leadership compared to last season?
“We all just talked in there. It was a great convo, its a great group of kids who are working hard. We’re two charge calls away on the road to being 4-1 [going into Villanova] and being in a different situation. It’s a good five or six days off that we need, get in the weight room and get some individual instruction and not grind as much.”
Three quick notes
Villanova scored 27 points off 16 Seton Hall turnovers. The Pirates didn’t necessarily turn it over more than usual, but Nova certainly made them pay at a higher rate including hitting 12 of 26 threes, a lot of which were good looks.
Angel Delgado never really got into the game, and credit Villanova for that. He saw maybe two touches before Seton Hall fell behind by 10-15 points — it was only natural his double-double streak ended tonight.
Seton Hall has some soul-searching to do. To get called out publicly and respond by basically not showing up against Villanova will have many fans worried.