Rapid Reaction: Seton Hall falls short at Villanova, 92-76

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Philadelphia, Pa. — Seton Hall battled No. 1 Villanova tooth and nail for 30 minutes, but were ultimately overwhelmed 92-76 in a hard-fought loss at Wells Fargo Center.

Seton Hall couldn’t get stops when it really mattered. They did well defensively for most of the first 20 minutes, but they couldn’t sustain it for the full 40. That said, Ish Sanogo and Angel Delgado deserve some credit for what they brought to defensive end and to the paint battle in general; Sanogo came up with several highlight reel blocks and his usual hustle plays.

Willard had his hands full from a management perspective. Between Desi Rodriguez’ three fouls in the first half and Khadeen Carrington picking up his fourth foul midway through the second half, Willard had to deal with some extra variables that go along with playing at the nation’s top team. As a result, he had to get creative by using walk-on Philip Flory on the last possession of the first half, Jordan Walker at a key point in the second period, and several lineups that consisted of three bench players.

It’s hard not to point out the officiating discrepancy: Villanova had just nine fouls to Seton Hall’s 17 when the game was effectively over. Right or wrong, I’ll let you be the judge, but it did seem like some of the 50-50 physical calls were being given to the hosts rather than the Hall. But that may just be human nature. 

Seton Hall did well to keep the game close despite a few of their vital signs not checking out. Perhaps the most prominent was the Pirates making just one three in the first half and they had just two three-balls nearly 30 minutes into the game before Myles Powell let a barrage loose with about ten to play, which turned out to be too little, too late.

Speaking of vitals, the Hall of course did a few things right or they wouldn’t have been in the game for so long. There wasn’t a ton of open-court action, but Seton Hall made the most of it (7-2) when there was. Particularly early, Angel Delgado and Ish Sanogo played a strong game in the paint which resulted in the visitors holding a rebounding edge (until last 8 minutes) as well as edging the paint battle 38-34.

It was just my second college hoops game at Wells Fargo Center. While the crowd size and volume impressed me given the Super Bowl distraction, it always felt like a large portion of the crowd was using this game as a warm-up for tonight. There were scores of Eagles jerseys — perhaps even more than the Villanova equivalent — and the arena even organized a “Fly Eagles Fly” during the second half under-eight, which struck me as a bit strange. That said, it was still an energetic and great college hoops atmosphere.

  • I have to wonder if the NBA 3-point line confused Powell. It felt like he took a ton of NBA 3s when he didn’t need to. Somehow made more of them than not, but still.

    • Matty P

      I had the same feeling. I dislike the NBA three point line on the floor since I feel it tempts guys to take those shots or misidentify the college vs NBA lines.

  • Matty P

    If Spellman is going to hit 6-7 from 3 it’s going to be a bad result for any opponent. If he shoots closer to his average of 42.6% instead of 85.7% it’s a very different game. I also felt the team went away from Delgado while the game was still close which was a battle he was winning most times down the court. In the end they played well against arguably the best team in the country on the road.

    Hope that Cale is okay. Looked like he rolled his ankle right at the end of the 1st half.

  • Matt

    The score did not serve as an indicator of how they actually played. No one should be upset by this loss. Our two best players had foul trouble in the second half. We kept it close for the majority of the game against the best team in the country. We are fine. GO PIRATES!

  • Drew Guritzky

    Cale getting hurt at the end of the first half didn’t help either. :/

    • LBP

      Hall needed Cale’s D especially with Deeno and Desi hampered. Typical Stephens reffed Game — he is horrible- Deeno , Myles and Myles Cale did not play all that well- But the biggest prob was that Spellman had his Career day and could not miss even if he tried

  • Andrew Herbst

    We played a lot better than the final score shows. We hung in there for a while. I’m proud of our effort. No shame in losing to the best team in the country on the road. Especially with Khadeem and Desi in foul trouble. We’ll learn from this. Nova is a great team. Let’s bounce back Wednesday night against Marquette. GO PIRATES!

  • ThePirateFan

    Tough game. Nova has 5 of the top 11 three point shooters in the conference. They’re just crazy good and limited the pirates ability to score in transition. Hard to say for sure because watching live is different than on TV but it seemed like there were very few gimmes. Powell has to pull the trigger more often. I appreciate the up fakes to prevent predictability, but him shooting an open 3 is the best possible outcome. There is no holding out for a better shot. And they got caught twice on under the rim inbound defense. That’s pretty poor.

    Re: officiating there were some calls that I was confused by (Deno carry before he started dribbling?), and a discrepancy between the two teams that large makes things fishy, but most pirate fouls seemed like fouls to me, except maybe one ish bump on an and 1.

    Re: the eagles, I live in Philly and I’m not at all surprised by the song played at the under eight. Philly loves that damn song and it’s been eagles mania the last two weeks