Jeff Griffith (@Jeff_Griffith21)
Fueled by a stellar performance from sophomore guard Jalen Brunson and an outright dominant second half, No. 2 Villanova picked up its sixth straight win by downing Seton Hall on the road by a final of 92-70.
While Seton Hall may have snatched an early 9-3 lead, Brunson stole the show in the first half. The quickly Wildcats responded to the Pirates’ hot start and ripped off a 14-2 run to lead by six at the 12:09 mark, and eventually held an eight-point advantage on a Brunson jumper that gave him 10 points with five minutes to play in the half.
Seton Hall fought its way back to within one on a Desi Rodriguez triple, but Villanova answered by finishing the half on an 11-1 run. The half was capped off by a Brunson three that had him leading all scorers with 18 points and his team up 42-31.
Brunson picked up his fourth assists out of the gates in the second by hitting Eric Paschall for a three that put Villanova up by 14, as the Wildcats never looked back from their strong finish to the first half. Within the first two minutes of play, ‘Nova had already opened up a 53-31 advantage, their biggest of the game to that point.
Villanova’s overall largest lead came at the 12:13 mark, a Brunson jumper put the Wildcats up 69-42 as they continued to pour it on.
While Brunson had the best all around game – finishing with a double-double of 22 points and 10 assists – Senior Kris Jenkins also had 22 points, shooting 5-of-6 from beyond the arc. Brunson shot a perfect 7-of-7 from the field.
As for the Pirates, Kadeem Carrington matched the game-high of 22 points to lead the way in defeat.
57: Villanova simply couldn’t miss against Seton Hall, especially from three-point range, where the ‘Cats shot 57 percent. ‘Nova also shot 67 percent from the field.
19: While Seton Hall didn't commit too many turnovers – just 12 for the game – Villanova efficiently capitalized off of them for 19 points.
No. 2 Villanova (26-2, 13-2 Big East) vs. No. 24 Butler – Wed., Feb. 22 @ 9 p.m.
Seton Hall (16-10, 6-8 Big East) vs. Xavier – Wed., Feb. 22 @ 7 p.m.