March 10, 2004
Click on the pdf link below for the game's NCAA Boxscore
By JIM O'CONNELL
AP Basketball Writer
NEW YORK (AP) - Randy Foye made the shot this time.
The sophomore guard hit a jumper in the lane with 3.6 seconds to play, giving Villanova a 61-60 victory over Seton Hall on Wednesday night in the opening round of the Big East tournament.
On Feb. 21, he missed a 3-pointer with 9 seconds to play as the Wildcats tried to complete a comeback from 17 points down. They lost to Seton Hall 70-68.
"It feels good because I think every game this year, when it came down to the last shot, Coach put the ball in my hand," Foye said. "He still believed in me and he put the ball in my hand again and I executed. So it felt real good."
Foye backed in on guard Andre Barrett and seemed to push off as he got himself open for the shot from just below the free throw line. It was the eighth lead change in the final 5:34.
Barrett's long 3-point attempt at the buzzer was off the mark.
"He made a good one-on-one move, nothing we could do about it," Barrett said. "If he missed it, it would have been considered good defense."
The 11th-seeded Wildcats (15-15) snapped a five-game losing streak and advanced to the quarterfinals against third-seeded and 20th-ranked Providence on Thursday night.
"They were the only team to really thump us this year and it was at our place," Villanova coach Jay Wright said of a 100-74 loss to Providence on Feb. 11. "You always want another shot at a team like that."
Allen Ray had 15 points, all in the first half, for Villanova and Foye and Curtis Sumpter each had 13.
Kelly Whitney had 20 points for the sixth-seeded Pirates (20-9), who had won four of five, while Barrett added 15 points and seven assists.
Whitney made two free throws with 5:34 to play to give the Pirates a 52-51 lead, their first since being up 7-6. That started the run of late lead changes, and Seton Hall's last came at 60-59 on an offensive rebound by Andre Sweet with 2:15 to play.
Both teams failed to score on their next two possessions. Villanova called a timeout with 22 seconds left, and as the ball was inbounded, freshman point guard Mike Nardi appeared to trip over Barrett's feet at midcourt. Barrett came up with the loose ball and found Marcus Toney-El headed toward the basket. Toney-El was fouled hard by Sumpter and was knocked to the floor.
Toney-El, a senior who was shooting 61 percent from the free throw line, missed two foul shots, the second an air ball.
"He said he was all right and wanted to take the foul shots," Seton Hall coach Louis Orr said of Toney-El. "Maybe he was dazed. It was a real hard foul."
Villanova called a timeout and Foye came up with the winning shot.
Ray finished 5-for-16 from the field, including 0-for-8 in the second half.
Last season, Seton Hall felt it deserved an at-large bid to the NCAA tournament and was upset when it didn't get it.
"I feel better than I did last season about it," Barrett said. "I'm a little nervous, but I have confidence in the committee."