Jan. 7, 2014
VILLANOVA, Pa. - A busy week for the No. 8/10 Villanova Wildcats continues on Wednesday evening at the Prudential Center in Newark, N.J. A BIG EAST clash with the Seton Hall Pirates (10-5 overall, 1-1 BIG EAST) is set for 7 p.m. The game will air nationally on the CBS Sports Network, which will be producing a unique "Enhanced Audio" experience on this contest with 30 microphones at court level.
The game also be heard on the Villanova radio network with coverage in Philadelphia on 1210 WPHT and nationally on Sirius/XM 85.
For Villanova (13-1 overall, 2-0 BIG EAST) this contest is the second in a span of three games in six days that began with a 91-61 victory over Providence on Sunday evening.
"Players love this," says Villanova head coach Jay Wright. "As coaches, you kind of like it when you have more time to practice, as we did after Butler. But this week, we have a short turnaround time so you have to make the most of what time you do have."
Seton Hall snapped a 10-game Wildcat winning streak in the series with a thrilling 66-65 victory last year in Newark. The Pirates scored five points in the final 16 seconds, capped off by a 3-pointer by Fuquan Edwin, to claim the win. This is the first of two meetings between the clubs this year, with the second slated for Feb. 7 at the Pavilion.
Seton Hall upended Providence 81-80 in double overtime on the road in its conference opener on Dec. 31 and dropped a 79-66 decision to Creighton in its BIG EAST home opener last Saturday.
The Pirates average 78.2 points per game, which is third in the BIG EAST behind Creighton (81.5 ppg) and Villanova (81.2 ppg). Five players average double figures in points, led by guard Sterling Gibbs (15.9 ppg).
"This is a very dangerous team," says Wright. "They have so many scorers that you can't concentrate on just one. I think they match up well with us and we expect another tough road Big East game, like the one we had at Butler."
The Wildcats held off the Bulldogs on Dec. 31 76-73 in overtime.
Wright took note of Gibbs, a sophomore who began his college career at the University of Texas before transferring back to his native New Jersey.
"I'm very impressed by (Gibbs)," states Wright. "His ability to get to the line is amazing. He's kind of a classic Jersey guard - we've had a few of them here. He reminds me of Corey Fisher, who played here for us from St. Patrick's High School."
The Wildcats will need a collective defensive effort in this one to contain a potent opponent, in the estimation of their coach.
"This has to be a real team effort for us defensively," says Wright. "I think we have gotten better defensively as a team but we can get better."
The final game in this hectic week comes Saturday afternoon at Madison Square Garden, where VU meets St. John's (1:00 p.m/Fox Sports 1).
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