Feb. 26, 2013
NEWARK, N.J. - The Seton Hall Pirates used a furious five point rally in the final 16 seconds to grab a 66-65 victory over Villanova in a BIG EAST Conference contest played here at the Prudential Center on Monday evening. The Wildcats fall to 18-11 overall, 9-7 in conference play while the Hall is now 14-15 overall, 3-13 in league action.
Fuquan Edwin sank two free throws with 16.3 seconds left and then grabbed the steal that proved pivotal in the final seconds before sinking the game-winner. Edwin finished with 18 points and seven rebounds and Aaron Cosby had 21 points for the Pirates.
Ryan Arcidiacono led the Wildcats with 16 points while Mouphtaou Yarou added 14 points and 15 rebounds. Yarfou's basket with 19 seconds left was his 1,000th career point and gave VU a 65-61 edge. But the Cats' 18th turnover of the night was their most costly one and Arcidiacono's final shot from the corner for a potential game-winner bounced off the rim.
"Tough game but it was nothing that we didn't expect," stated Villanova head coach Jay Wright. "We have struggled to guard the 3-point line all year long and this is what's happened to us. Seton Hall's guards dominated the game. We couldn't keep them in front of us."
Seton Hall entered the contest ranked third in 3-point field goal accuracy in the BIG EAST and demonstrated why in the game's early minutes, sinking all three of their early attempts to grab hold of a 9-5 lead with 15:37 to go. Fuquan Edwin made the first and that was followed by a pair from Kyle Smyth. The Wildcats got a triple from Ryan Arcidiacono and a put-back basket from senior Mouphtaou Yarou for their early points.
Smyth and Edwin combined to sink three more triples over the next eight minutes, which helped the Hall keep the lead at 20-17. Villanova's offense came from a balanced attack led by JayVaughn Pinkston (five points).
A James Bell 3-pointer pulled the Wildcats even at 20 with just more than six minutes remaining in the period. Arcidiacono followed that with a steal and score but the Pirates used a 7-2 run, which included another three, this one from Brian Oliver, to give the Hall the lead back at 27-26 with 2:32 on the clock before halftime.
Two free throws from Arcidiacono with 13.3 seconds on the clock in the first half tied the contest at 32 at intermission.
The Hall connected on 8-13 from beyond the arc in the first period while connecting on just 1-of-9 inside the arc. Villanova meanwhile, was 10-of-23 (.435) from the field in the period.
Aaron Cosby opened the second half with the Hall's ninth triple of the night to help the Pirates recapture the lead at 35-32 and Villanova came right back with a score from JayVaughn Pinkston. That see-saw pattern continued through the first nine minutes of the period as the margin stayed close. VU held a 47-45 edge with 11:06 to play in the second half despite draining only two field goals in the first nine minutes of the period.
The Wildcats used a mini-surge under the 10 minute mark to build a five point lead and nursed that edge over the final 10 minutes. A Hilliard 3-pointer with 1:15 left gave the `Cats a 63-59 lead and Yarou followed that with another huge basket with 19 second left to re-establish the four point edge at 65-61.
But the final seconds belonged to Seton Hall and Edwin. He helped force a Wildcat turnover and then drained the biggest basket of the game, the Hall's 13th 3-pointer of the night.
The Wildcats are idle until Sunday when they visit Pittsburgh to take on the Panthers in a contest that tips off at noon (PHL 17).