Seton Hall upsets unbeaten, #6 Villanova in overtime in front of sold out RockDate: January 4, 2015
Despite foul trouble and questionable officiating, the Seton Hall Pirates knocked off Villanova 66-61 in overtime in front of 10,000 plus in Newark.
For the first time since 2006, Seton Hall has defeated rank teams in back-to-back games and the perseverance of this young team really showed.
Sterling Gibbs continued his solid play as he scored 20 points and dished out four assists. Without Isaiah Whitehead, Gibbs has been vital with his scoring outputs and the Pirates will need him to keep that up going forward.
"They played their hearts out, I am proud of them," Head Coach Kevin Willard said, "that was as good a Villanova team as I have seen. They [the players] deserved it."
For Villanova (13-1), they missed out of having their best start to a season in school history and Head Coach Jay Wright was robbed of his 300th career win.
Darrun Hilliard had a chance to win the game for the Wildcats at the buzzer, but missed and that sent the game to overtime.
The Pirates (12-2) had to deal with multiple players being in foul trouble early and often. Seton Hall started off the game on a 17-3 run, but the veteran Wildcats would respond with a 19-8 spurt. The Hall would lead 31-27 at the half.
Delgado picked up two fouls quickly in the first half and had many other issues to deal with in the game. He picked up his fourth foul in the second half, but did not foul out and finished with four points and six rebounds.
In the first half, Delgado was kicked by Villanova's Josh Hart who was assessed a flagrant on the play. Delgado would also be thrown down and elbowed in the eye during the physical, typical Big East bout. Despite all of that, he wanted to come back into the game to join his team after sustaining the elbow and had to be held back by his coaches.
In Delgado's absence, Rashed Anthony and Chier Ajou entered the game. Coach Willard believed that their minutes were huge.
"Anthony saved the game for us in the first half." Willard said. He added that despite not filling up the stat sheet that just their presence on the court was important.
Khadeen Carrington had his best game as a Pirate and finished the game with 17 points including two huge layups down the stretch in overtime. Carrington shot 9-10 from the free throw line, which was also vital in the win.
Willard believes that Carrington has really benefitted from the Whitehead injury because he played more and has the ball in his hands. It also helped that the Pirates hit 20-26 free throws as a team.
"It has been our Achilles heel," Willard said, "Everybody stepped up to make free throws."
The Pirates overcame it all to defeat the Wildcats in the rematch of that thrilling Big East Tournament quarterfinal last season that saw "Stepback" Sterling obtain his nickname.
Seton Hall will look to keep this momentum up as they head on a two game road trip starting with a Jan. 7 date with Xavier in Cincinnati, likely with a ranking next to their name. Find out as we will have the coverage for you on 89.5 FM WSOU.