Game preview: No.8 Seton Hall hosts No.14 Villanova in a pivotal senior night clashDate: March 3, 2020
By: Dalton Allison
Things have become very real for the Seton Hall Pirates. With their ranking of eighth in the nation, the Pirates have found themselves the highest ranked that they have been since December 2000. They clinched their first share of the Big East regular season championship since the spring of 1993, which was before Kevin Willard hit the court for Western Kentucky.
With the senior day of Myles Powell, Quincy McKnight, Romaro Gill, and Asiah Avent taking place on Wednesday, there will be a lot to celebrate in front of an anticipated sold-out crowd in the Prudential Center. With this in mind, a tall task lays ahead of the Pirates in the form of the No. 14 Villanova Wildcats.
Coming off the heels of a 58-54 home loss against the surging Providence Friars, the Wildcats will enter the Prudential Center on Wednesday with a chip on their shoulder, and a hunger to play spoiler to Senior Day. The Wildcats struggled on Feb. 29, to contain Luwane Pipkins, who scorched them for 27 points, almost half of Providence’s total points for the game.
A crucial mistake that the Wildcats made against the Friars was committing far too many fouls, and then having the bad luck of Providence making 19 of their possible 25 free throws. Nine of those free throws came off of the hand of Pipkins.
Seeing the Wildcats’ propensity for fouling should excite the Pirates, who have been steadily improving their numbers at the charity stripe over the past three games. Overall on the season, the Pirates are shooting 73%, good enough for sixth in the Big East. Over their three-game winning streak however, the Pirates have improved their free throw shooting percentage to 83%, hitting 50 of their last 60 attempts.
Seton Hall’s last game, against the Marquette Golden Eagles, went exactly as billed. It was the Markus Howard vs. Powell high noon-style showdown that everyone craved heading into the match. Powell was good for 28 points and five assists, and Howard 37 points and four assists en-route to his team falling to Seton Hall 88-79.
Not to be forgotten though was Sandro Mamukelashvili, who chipped in with 26 points and a monstrous nine boards. Mamu has established himself as a deadly stretch-four player, demonstrating his range by hitting all three of his three-point attempts Saturday afternoon.
Coverage of the No. 8 Seton Hall Pirates (21-7, 13-3) hosting the No. 14 Villanova Wildcats (22-7, 11-5) will begin on 89.5 FM WSOU at 8:00 p.m. with pregame coverage brought to you by Bob Towey and Wilnir Louis. Chris Russo and Jose Feliciano will have the call of the game, with the tip at 8:30 p.m.
Dalton Allison is the Sports Director at 89.5 FM WSOU and can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.