Villanova survived a sloppy, turnover filled 40 minutes to hold on and beat Seton Hall 60-57 at the Prudential Center on Tuesday night. Jeremy Hazell’s last-ditch three point effort wouldn’t fall for the Hall, as Villanova improved to 20-6 (8-5) on the season, the 7th straight 20-win season for Jay Wright’s Wildcats.
Without second-leading scorer Corey Stokes, who missed his second straight contest with a toe injury, Villanova needed a balanced scoring attack, and it got just that despite committing 20 turnovers. Freshman James Bell, who had 31 total points this season coming in, knocked down four from behind the arc en route to a career-high 21 points. Antonio Pena added a double-double with 10 points and a game-high 11 boards.
On the other hand, the Pirates, who fell to 11-15 (5-9), were anything but balanced. Hazell led the way as he usually does for the Hall, finishing 9 of 22 for 25 points. The story for the Pirates was their dismal shooting; everyone not named Jeremy Hazell went 10 of 35 from the field, including 0-13 from three-point range.
Villanova has a warm-up in Chicago against DePaul on Saturday before four tough games to round out the season (vs. Syracuse, vs. St. John’s, at Notre Dame and at Pitt). Seton Hall returns to action on Saturday night when it travels to Marquette.