Sat, 27 Feb 2021

No. 3 Villanova survives rust, Seton Hall, in thriller

Field Level Media
20 Jan 2021, 14:40 GMT+10

With No. 3 Villanova playing its first game of the calendar year because of delays related to COVID-19, Cole Swider dropped in the go-ahead free throw with 1.9 seconds remaining to lift the No. 3 Wildcats past visiting Seton Hall 76-74 on Tuesday in Bryn Mawr, Pa.

Swider missed the first foul shot and made the second as the Wildcats won in their first game in 27 days due to three separate COVID-19 pauses. Their previous win came Dec. 23 against Marquette.

Collin Gillespie led Villanova (9-1, 4-0 Big East) with 22 points, Jermaine Samuels added 20 and Justin Moore had 10 with seven assists. The Wildcats have won seven straight.

Sandro Mamukelashvili paced Seton Hall with 23 points, nine rebounds and five assists. Mamukelashvili had a chance to win the game, but his turnaround 3-pointer fell short at the buzzer.

Jared Rhoden added 19 points while Myles Cale and Shavar Reynolds had 11 each for the Pirates, who fell to 9-6 overall and 6-3 in the league.

Rhoden knocked down his first six shots as Seton Hall moved to a 32-28 lead.

After shooting 10 of 17 to open the game, Villanova missed six in a row over a span of more than six minutes. But it still trailed by only two, 32-30, with 2:55 remaining in the first half.

Samuels and Brandon Slater soon connected on consecutive 3-pointers for a 36-33 advantage. The Wildcats held a 38-35 lead at halftime.

Rhoden led the Pirates with 17 points at the half.

Slater gave the Wildcats a two-point lead with a dunk before Mamukelashvili came back with a short jumper from the baseline to equalize at 47.

Samuels and Slater each scored and Villanova moved out to a 51-47 edge. Seton Hall head coach Kevin Willard then was issued a technical foul during a television timeout and Gillespie hit both for a six-point lead with 11:36 left.

Mamukelashvili responded with a jumper and a 3-pointer to cut the deficit to one, 53-52.

Gillespie scored four points as Villanova proceeded on an 8-0 run to take a 61-52 lead with 7:21 to go.

Reynolds knocked down a jumper and a trey to close the Pirates within 61-57.

When Cale scored over Moore with 2:33 left, Seton Hall trailed 72-70. Gillespie was called for an offensive foul and then Mamukelashvili tied the game at 72 on a short jumper.

Trailing by one with 1.9 seconds left, a full-court pass went through Mamukelashvili's hands and out of bounds in another missed opportunity in the final seconds for Seton Hall.

--Field Level Media

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