No. 6 Villanova loses for first time this season
NEWARK, N.J. (AP) — Jay Wright wasn’t complaining after No. 6 Villanova had its record-tying 13-game winning streak to start the season stopped, and his 300th win with the Wildcats put on hold.
Tough games are par for the course in the Big East Conference, and Villanova (13-1, 1-1) came up just short against young and improving Seton Hall.
Khadeen Carrington hit a go-ahead layup with 1:38 to play in overtime and Seton Hall knocked off its second ranked foe this week, defeating Villanova 66-61 on Saturday.
“We didn’t play our best, but I think it’s because Seton Hall played a little bit better,” Wright said, adding that he was proud of his team. “They executed a little bit better defensively and I thought their guys made some shots and we didn’t.”
The Wildcats struggled in almost all aspects of their game, except on defense. They shot 31 percent from the field, 21 percent from 3-point range and a woeful 57 percent from the free throw line, missing 15 attempts.
Make a couple of those and the result is different.
Seton Hall (12-2, 2-0) would not be denied just days after upsetting No. 15 St. John’s on Wednesday. Not even despite a career day by Wildcats’ big man Daniel Ochefu, who had 19 points and 24 rebounds, personal bests.
“It’s obviously always tough to lose,” said Wildcats guard Darrun Hilliard, who had 14 points before fouling out in overtime. “It’s tough. But this team is more than one loss. So many times we’ve been on the other end and felt great. Now it’s our turn. It’s tough. We’ll bounce back.”
Carrington finished with a career-high 17 points, while Sterling Gibbs added 20 for the Pirates.
Carrington’s drive gave Seton Hall a 62-61 lead. After Ryan Arcidiacono missed a drive at the other end, he added two free throws with 22.5 seconds to go after the Pirates got an offensive rebound following Gibbs’ 3-point attempt.
Arcidiacono then turned over the ball with the Wildcats’ looking for a tying 3-pointer with 14 seconds left, and Jaren Sina iced the game with two free throws.
Ochefu said no one was worried about the winning streak.
“We didn’t take the winning streak into consideration,” he said. “That’s not what we are about.”
There were four ties in the final six minutes, with neither team leading by more than two points after Gibbs tied the game with an off-balance 3-pointer.
Seton Hall, which opened the game with a 17-3 spurt, took a 58-56 lead with 1:01 to play when Carrington drove the lane for a layup.
Kris Jenkins tied the game for Villanova, hitting two free throws with 37 seconds to play.
Both teams had a chance to win in the final seconds. Gibbs had a drive roll around the rim in the final 10 seconds, and Hilliard had a good look from 3-point range bound off the front rim at the buzzer.
“Villanova is as good as basketball team as I’ve ever played against,” said Seton Hall coach Kevin Willard, who intended to open a bottle of wine to celebrate the win.
The foul-marred game had an ugly incident early in the second half. Villanova’s Josh Hart kicked Seton Hall’s Angel Delgado in the shin as the big man went to retrieve a loose ball, leaving him writhing in pain.
Hart, who had fallen to the court when he kicked out his leg, was booed every time he touched the ball after that.
The officials reviewed the videotape about 15 seconds after the incident and assessed a flagrant foul against Hart. Gibbs took the first free throws and made them, but the officials then ruled Delgado had to take the shots and he missed both.
Delgado, who had been averaging a double-double in recent games, scored four points while being limited to 15 minutes by fouls.
Villanova: The Wildcats’ longest winning streak is 15 games, but it came over two seasons: 1949-50 and ’50-51. The other Wildcats team to start 13-0 was in 1937-38.
Seton Hall: The last time the Pirates beat ranked teams in consecutive games was in 2005-06, when they knocked off No. 15 North Carolina State and No. 25 Syracuse.
Villanova: at No. 15 St. John’s on Tuesday.
Seton Hall: at Xavier on Wednesday.