The Seton Hall Pirates were back in action on Wednesday as they traveled to Philadelphia to take on the Wildcats of Villanova. We were lucky enough to talk to Larry Flynn who is a junior at Villanova and writes for their newspaper, The Villanovan. He was kind enough to give us some insight on the Wildcats and offered his thoughts on the game. You can read the preview in our previous post. You can follow Larry on twitter @LFlynn_NBANOVA. Though the Pirates fought hard throughout this game, the Wildcats came away with the win 72-63.
The first half was a very defensive affair. The Pirates and Wildcats were both off on the offensive end. The game was very close until Kris Jenkins hit a three pointer with 6:38 left in the first half. From there the Wildcats would increase their lead to as much as 11 in the first half. Kris Jenkins was the player that Larry Flynn told us to watch for in this one. Overall, both teams were sloppy on the offensive end in the first half. The two teams combined to commit 16 turnovers in the first half. At the end of the first half the Wildcats were on top 30-23. The 23 points were the lowest first half score of the season for the Pirates.
The Wildcats were led by Daniel Ochefu with 9 points and 8 rebounds. Kris Jenkins added 6 points and Josh Hart added 5 rebounds. The Pirates were led by Derrick Gordon with 4 points and 3 rebounds as well as 2 assists. Isaiah Whitehead chipped in 5 points in the half for the Hall.
The second half was when both teams finally got going offensively. The Wildcats came out hot and scored the first 6 points of the half to push the lead to 13. Daniel Ochefu, Josh Hart, and Ryan Arcidiacono each had a bucket in that early spurt. The headline of the second half was so close, yet so far away. The Pirates cut the lead down on numerous occasions but would never take the lead in the second half. The best chance came around the 11:45 mark of the second half. A three pointer from Veer Singh brought the Pirates to within 2 points. Villanova responded and increased the lead to 7 before the Pirates would cut it to 3. Isaiah Whitehead and Khadeen Carrington were the catalysts.
The inside play of Daniel Ochefu proved to be too much for the Pirates. Down the stretch the Wildcats would open up the lead to as much as 15, ultimately winning by a 9 point margin. Daniel Ochefu was a big mismatch for Angel Delgado all night long. The Pirates gave up many second chance points and it came back to bite them. The Wildcats came out of this one with a 72-63 win over the Pirates.
Daniel Ochefu led the Wildcats in the win tonight. The senior had a huge game with 20 points and 18 rebounds. Josh Hart had a great game as well with 15 points and 10 rebounds. Larry Flynn told us that Hart was the most complete player on this Villanova team. Kris Jenkins posted 11 points and 6 boards. Ryan Arcidiacono chipped in 11 points for the Wildcats.
The Pirates were led by Derrick Gordon who played his most complete game of the season. The transfer from UMASS posted 8 points, 10 rebounds, and 3 assists. Isaiah Whitehead would score 20 in a losing effort for the Pirates. Khadeen Carrington added 14 points and 4 rebounds. Angel Delgado chipped in 6 boards, his double double streak is over after tonight.
With the victory the Wildcats improve to 13-2 on the season and 3-0 in Big East play. The Wildcats now sit alone atop the conference. With the defeat the Pirates drop to 12-3 on the season and 2-1 in Big East play. The Wildcats will head to Indianapolis on Sunday to take on the Butler Bulldogs. The Pirates will head home to take on Creighton on Saturday at the Prudential Center.
We would like to give a big thank you to Larry Flynn for his insight on Villanova basketball. He is a great journalist and is well worth a follow on twitter. Go and check out his stuff! Check out the PPI below to see which players excelled in this loss to Villanova.
We will have a full recap and coverage of the game on Saturday against Creighton. Until then, Hazard Zet Forward.