Villanova vs. Seton Hall Recap | The Wildcats Win a Defensive Battle
Written by David Szczepanski on February 13, 2023
Villanova defeated Seton Hall, 58-54, in a tough defensive battle at the Wells Fargo Center on Saturday night.
Caleb Daniels made the first basket of the night for both teams, which was a three pointer. However, both offenses were extremely quiet for much of the first half. Prior to this game, both teams were averaging about seventy points per game offensively, but the Pirates had a huge advantage defensively by having one of the best defenses in the country. Since the first half was very defensive, it seemed like Seton Hall had a huge step on Villanova in the game.
However, the veteran duo of Eric Dixon and Caleb Daniels rose to the occasion for the Wildcats. Dixon and Daniels combined for 24 points in the first half, which allowed the Wildcats to take a convincing 27-20 lead into halftime. Cam Whitmore scored the only other three points for Villanova in the first twenty minutes of action. Also, in a somewhat surprising return, Guard Jordan Longino logged solid minutes for Villanova in his first game since January 4th, where he suffered a hamstring injury.
Seton Hall, who entered the contest at 8-6 in Big East play, went on a much needed run to begin the second half. Forward Tyrese Samuel and Guard Kadary Richmond sparked life into the Pirates’ struggling offense, and Villanova was not getting the same shot selection as they were getting at the end of the first half.
At around midway into the second half, Caleb Daniels knocked down a three to earn 1,000 points in a Villanova uniform. The Wildcats responded with a run of their own and built their lead up to 12 points in the second half. E-A-G-L-E-S chants broke out in the Wells Fargo Center as Villanova seemed to have locked up a Quad 2 win against the Seton Hall Pirates.
The Pirates were able to knock down some late threes and contested layups from Al-Amir Dawes and Femi Odukale. However, by this point, the Wildcats had already wrapped up the victory late in the second half.
Eric Dixon led all scorers with 19 for Villanova. Caleb Daniels on his historic night accumulated 18 points. The only other Villanova starter in double digits was Freshman Cam Whitmore with 12. The Pirates’ leading scorer was Tyrese Samuel with 14 points while shooting 7-11 from the field. Villanova shot 42.9% from the field and 40% from three. Meanwhile, the Pirates shot just 39.6% from the field and 35% from behind the arc. Seton Hall also committed 18 total turnovers to Villanova’s 13 turnovers.
In his return, Jordan Longino played 14 minutes, but did not attempt a shot in the contest.
Standings + The Road Ahead
As they prepare to face Butler tomorrow night at the Finn, the Wildcats are ranked 68th in the country according to Kenpom.com. Villanova is now 6-8 in Big East conference play and 12-13 overall; however, they are finally healthy and playing their best basketball of the season. WXVU will have live coverage of the Valentine’s Day matchup against 13-13 Butler beginning at 8pm.