A slow second half start spelled doom for the men’s basketball team, as the Pirates fell to No. 6 Villanova, 70-53.
The Pirates (13-10, 4-6 Big East) started the game hot with an early 10-2 run in which senior swingman Fuquan Edwin scored 8 points. The Hall led the Wildcats 10-4 with 14:27 remaining in the half.
With five minutes to go in the period, Villanova showed why they are the No. 6 team in the country, rattling off a 13-1 run, entering halftime with a 34-26 lead.
The Wildcats (21-2, 9-1 Big East) continued the momentum they captured before halftime into the second stanza, holding the Pirates to just 4 points in the first six minutes, and held The Hall to only three field goals over the first 10 minutes.
Villanova held a distinct advantage on the boards, out rebounding The Hall 34-25.
The Pirates turnover woes played a big part in the loss as the Wildcats scored 16 points on 15 Pirates turnovers. When Villanova turned the ball over, however, the Pirates were unable to convert, scoring 4 points on the Wildcats’ 11 turnovers.
Sophomore Sterling Gibbs led the Hall in the loss with 16 points. Senior center Eugene Teague chipped in with 10 points and 6 rebounds.
Villanova had four players in double figures led by senior James Bell’s 20 points. Junior JayVaughn Pinkston scored 19 points on 9-11 shooting from the floor. Junior Darrun Hilliard and sophomore Daniel Ochefu scored 10. Ochefu also grabbed 10 rebounds and played a major part in Villanova’s run to end the first half.
The Pirates have now lost 12 straight road games at Villanova dating back to 1994. In recent history, Villanova has dominated Seton Hall. Since defeating the Pirates in the 2004 Big East Tournament, Villanova has lost to Seton Hall just once in 13 matchups, which came last year on a last-second shot from Fuquan Edwin.
The all-time series record now stands at 39-20 in Villanova’s favor.
T.J. Brennan can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.