Freshman Omari Spellman scored 26 points and grabbed 11 rebounds, Jalen Brunson added 21 points and No. 1 Villanova pulled away from gritty Seton Hall for a 92-76 victory Sunday at the Wells Fargo Center.
Mikal Bridges contributed 17, Donte DiVincenzo added 13 and Eric Paschall had 10 for the Wildcats, who improved to 22-1 overall and 9-1 in the Big East. It was the first career game ever played against Seton Hall at the Wells Fargo Center.
Desi Rodriguez led Seton Hall with 20 points while Angel Delgado added 18 and Myles Powell had 17. Khadeen Carrington also contributed 10 for the Pirates, who fell to 17-6 and 6-4 in the league.
Seton Hall dropped to 0-15 all-time when playing the top-ranked team in the country.
Seton Hall surged to a 48-45 lead after Carrington drove to the basket for a tough layup.
Paschall responded with a 3-pointer to tie the game at 48 with 15:37 remaining. Brunson followed with a trey after a timeout for a 51-48 Villanova advantage.
Bridges’ offensive rebound and basket capped a 10-2 run and gave the Wildcats a 55-50 lead.
Spellman later hit a 3-pointer and Bridges completed a conventional three-point play for a 68-60 Villanova lead with 8:51 left.
Carrington checked back in for Seton Hall despite having four fouls.
Bridges stayed active on the boards and tipped in a DiVincenzo miss for a 73-63 lead.
Rodriguez came back for the Pirates with a 3-pointer to get them within 73-66 with 6:38 remaining.
Spellman made a couple of clutch baskets in the waning minutes which propelled the Wildcats to another victory.
Spellman was terrific in the first half with 15 points and six rebounds, going 6-of-9 from the field and 3-of-4 from 3-point territory.
Villanova’s defense was solid once again and held Seton Hall to 1-for-7 shooting from beyond the arc.
Delgado led the Pirates with 10 points and six rebounds in the first 20 minutes.
There were nine ties and 11 lead changes in the first half in which Villanova went ahead 41-37.
—Field Level Media