Villanova’s dominating performance against Seton Hall on Super Bowl Sunday | Villanova vs. Seton Hall Recap
Written by David Szczepanski on February 13, 2024
On Super Bowl Sunday, Villanova defeated Seton Hall by more than three touchdowns, 80-54. The Wildcats played a complete game with both the offense and defense clicking. Four Villanova players scored at least ten points: Eric Dixon, Brendan Hausen, TJ Bamba, and Mark Armstrong. Dixon led all scorers with 18 points and five rebounds. After a 15-point performance on Wednesday against Xavier, Hausen finished the game with 17 points, including five three-pointers. Hausen is quickly developing into a star and his minutes are increasing with his offensive production. The Cats’ offense was extremely effective against the Pirates, but the defense has also been tremendous over the last three games. They have not allowed more than 60 points in the last three games. Villanova is now 13-11 overall and 6-7 in Big East play.
The Wildcats shot 54% from the field and 47% from three. Villanova’s bench continues to impress with 27 points to the Pirates’ 14 points off the bench. Villanova outrebounded Seton Hall by three rebounds, won the turnover margin by seven, and totaled 17 assists against the Pirates.
Seton Hall converted 40% of their shots from the field and 30% from behind the arc. The Pirates knocked down some shots late in the second half, but Villanova continued to extend their lead and never let the Pirates get back into the game. Al Amir Dawes shot 5-10 from the field for 14 points and two assists in 34 minutes. Kadary Richmond played 25 minutes for 12 points, four rebounds, and three assists. Richmond, who is Seton Hall’s average leading scorer with more than 16 points per game, had six turnovers against Villanova.
First Half: Villanova’s Tremendous Start
Villanova could not have asked for a better start in this game against Seton Hall. They controlled the game from tipoff. The Wildcats started the game with a 7-0 run in the first three minutes. TJ Bamba and Eric Dixon provided a lot of the offense early in this game.
Kadary Richmond picked up two fouls in the first seven minutes of the game and had to be substituted out in the middle of the first half. Dre Davis and Al Amir-Dawes did their best to counter Villanova’s baskets, but the Wildcats kept converting at a 60% success rate from the field. Villanova led 18-11 with 8:27 left in the first after a Tyler Burton three.
Richmond checked back into the game for the Pirates, and he immediately provided five quick points in 50 seconds. Villanova kept scoring and prevented Seton Hall from getting too close to their lead. After an Eric Dixon three from the corner, the Wildcats took their first double-digit lead of the afternoon, 31-21, with 3:35 left in the first half. The three-pointers kept falling for Villanova as Mark Armstrong knocked down a three-point jumper one minute before halftime to give the Cats a 15-point lead, 39-24.
The first twenty minutes featured some of Villanova’s best basketball of the season. The offense was efficient, and the Wildcats incorporated a lot of ball movement and creativity in the offensive scheme. The defense played exceptionally well to limit Seton Hall’s offense to just 24 points at halftime.
Second Half: Brendan Hausen and the Wildcats Dominate
One of Villanova’s main issues all season has been their struggle to build off their momentum and extend leads. There was some uncertainty about how the Wildcats would keep their foot on the gas in the second half, but Brendan Hausen and Villanova erased all doubt early.
Hausen’s first three-pointer of the second half extended Villanova’s lead to 16 points. Seton Hall and Kadary Richmond cut the deficit to 11 points, but they never put together a sustained run to seriously threaten the Wildcats’ large lead. After five points from the combination of Justin Moore and Eric Dixon, Hausen hit another three to make it a 21-point lead with just more than nine minutes left to play in South Philly. Hausen has been playing some unbelievable basketball over the last couple of weeks, and Coach Neptune has rewarded him with some big-time minutes. Hausen’s three-point shooting and potential has always been there, but the inconsistency in his first year and a half concerned some of Nova Nation. He’s quickly becoming one of Villanova’s most efficient scoring options, especially with Moore struggling.
A Bamba three-pointer with 5:09 left in the game provided the Wildcats with a 29-point advantage over Seton Hall, which would be their largest lead of the game. Some late made threes by Dawes trimmed Villanova’s lead to the mid-20’s, but the game was over for a long time before that. At the final buzzer in front of 13,754 at the Wells Fargo Center, Villanova defeated Seton Hall by 26 points in a blowout victory.
Seton Hall is not playing as well as they were in December, but they still battle a lot of teams and can put together a performance to beat almost any team in the country. The Pirates handed UConn their only conference loss of the season. However, as the season has gone on, Seton Hall’s inexperience is catching up to them. Regardless, Villanova needed the victory, and not only picked up the win, but did so in a dominating fashion. There were a lot of positives in this game: Brendan Hausen’s scoring, balanced effort from the entire lineup, great ball movement, and strong defense once again.
WXVU’s Live Coverage from Washington, DC on Friday
Villanova’s next game is on Friday at 8-15 Georgetown in Washington, DC. WXVU is making the trip down to Capital One Arena. Pregame coverage from our Nation’s Capital begins at 6:30pm followed by tipoff at 7pm.