SETON
NOVA

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No. 18 Villanova hits 17 3s, routs Seton Hall 80-52

PHILADELPHIA (AP) Villanova hit the bottom in early December. The Wildcats had dropped four games - as many as they had lost each of the last two seasons - and they were confronted with troubling questions.

Coach Jay Wright was stumped as the Wildcats tumbled out of the Top 25.

''This is the reality,'' he said of the early season malaise. ''How long is this going to take?''

Not long at all.

Phil Booth and Eric Paschall turned into a two-person show for the No. 18 Wildcats, powering the team out of its early funk. Booth and Paschall combined to outscore Seton Hall in the first half and the Wildcats thumped the Pirates 80-52 on Sunday for their eighth consecutive victory.

''The way Booth and Paschall are playing, you give them that many opportunities, they're going to get you,'' Seton Hall coach Kevin Willard said.

Booth hit seven 3-pointers and scored 25 points. Paschall finished with 17 points, going over 1,000 for his career. They combined for 10 of Villanova's 17 3s and made 15 of the team's 28 baskets.

Booth and Paschall have picked up the scoring slack for a program that needed to find chemistry after it lost four players to the NBA draft. Now it looks as if it's rolling toward another conference crown under Wright.

''I think we're starting to trust each other more,'' Booth said.

Against the Pirates, Paschall and Booth combined for six 3s and 26 points in the first half. The duo outscored Seton Hall 26-20 and the Wildcats led by 10 at the break. Booth missed a 3, the offensive rebound got kicked out to him and he nailed a 3 from the top of the arc to make it 30-20.

The national champions still have some kinks to work out to become a deep threat in March - namely, finding a third scorer - but again should be a low single-digit seed in the NCAA Tournament.

Saddiq Bey was the only other scorer in double digits (10 points), which is a surprise for any team that held a 35-point lead. The Wildcats (16-4, 7-0 Big East) know they'll need more than senior stars Paschall and Booth to win big games in March.

''I worry about that,'' Wright said. ''Not that they're not good enough to carry us. I just don't want to wear them out.''

He wants his underclassmen like Bey and Collin Gillespie to start to assert themselves as offensive threats. Gillespie hit Villanova's ninth 3-pointer to push the lead to 45-26 and blow the game open in the second half.

''We've got to get into those situations where they're forced to do it and they get it done,'' Wright said.

The other three Wildcats on the court weren't forced to do much else but offer some high-fives each time Booth and Paschall hit 3s. The Wildcats held Seton Hall to just nine baskets through the first 26 minutes in a Big East mismatch.

The Pirates (12-8, 3-5) remain 0-for-Nova on the road since 1994. The Wildcats have won 17 straight games on their home court against Seton Hall (15-0 Pavilion; 2-0 Wells Fargo Center).

Seton Hall had 14 turnovers in the first half and missed 8 of 10 3-pointers, the latest inept performance against a Villanova program the Pirates have not defeated since 2016.

The Wildcats lost back-to-back games to Michigan and Furman in November and had consecutive losses to Penn and Kansas in December. Now it's back to blue-blood reality for the Wildcats - even if the winning streak has masked some deficiencies.

''We still have a lot of work to do,'' Wright said.

BIG PICTURE

Seton Hall: The Pirates have lost five of six games and continue to struggle on defense after allowing 97 points last time out to DePaul. It's hard to believe this is the same team that beat Kentucky and Maryland in December. ... Myles Cale scored 14 points and leading scorer Myles Powell (22.2 points) was held to just three points.

''You're going to get smacked down every once in a while,'' Willard said.

Villanova: The Wildcats need to tighten up their free-throw shooting. They made just 7 of 13 attempts.

TO, BABY

Seton Hall had 18 turnovers and the Wildcats had 14.

UP NEXT

Seton Hall hosts Providence on Wednesday.

Villanova plays Wednesday night at DePaul.

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Key Players
Min. Per Game
Pts. Per Game
Ast. Per Game
Reb. Per Game
Field Goal %
Three Point %
Free Throw %
+ 3 Shavar Reynolds made 3-pt. jump shot 5.0
  Offensive rebound by Seton Hall 9.0
  Asiah Avent missed layup, blocked by Tim Delaney 11.0
  Offensive rebound by Seton Hall 20.0
  Jared Rhoden missed driving layup, blocked by Brandon Slater 22.0
  Bad pass turnover on Brandon Slater, stolen by Jared Rhoden 26.0
  Defensive rebound by Saddiq Bey 38.0
  Jared Rhoden missed free throw 38.0
  Personal foul on Brandon Slater 38.0
  Defensive rebound by Asiah Avent 45.0
  Brandon Slater missed 3-pt. jump shot 47.0
Team Stats
Points 52 80
Field Goals 18-52 (34.6%) 28-58 (48.3%)
3-Pointers 7-23 (30.4%) 17-42 (40.5%)
Free Throws 9-14 (64.3%) 7-13 (53.8%)
Total Rebounds 33 36
Offensive 7 9
Defensive 21 26
Team 5 1
Assists 10 16
Steals 8 9
Blocks 3 4
Turnovers 17 14
Fouls 16 16
Technicals 0 0
14 PTS, 6 REB
25 PTS, 5 REB, 5 AST
12T
away team logo Seton Hall 12-8 203252
home team logo 18 Villanova 16-4 305080
Team Stats
away team logo Seton Hall 12-8 73.8 PPG 38.8 RPG 13.5 APG
home team logo 18 Villanova 16-4 73.7 PPG 37.8 RPG 14.0 APG
Key Players
22
M. Cale G 10.2 PPG 4.1 RPG 1.2 APG 41.1 FG%
5
P. Booth G 18.6 PPG 3.9 RPG 3.8 APG 43.4 FG%
Top Scorers
M. Cale G 14 PTS 6 REB 0 AST
P. Booth G 25 PTS 5 REB 5 AST
34.6 FG% 48.3
30.4 3PT FG% 40.5
64.3 FT% 53.8
Starters PTS REB AST FG 3PT FT PF MIN STL BLK TO OREB DREB
M. Cale 14 6 0 5/7 4/6 0/0 2 28 0 0 1 0 6
M. Nzei 7 3 0 1/4 0/0 5/6 1 22 0 0 1 2 1
Q. McKnight 5 1 3 2/6 0/1 1/1 3 20 3 0 5 0 1
S. Mamukelashvili 4 7 3 1/6 0/3 2/2 2 28 2 2 0 2 5
M. Powell 3 1 0 1/5 0/3 1/2 1 26 0 0 7 0 1
Starters PTS REB AST FG 3PT FT PF MIN STL BLK TO OREB DREB
M. Cale 14 6 0 5/7 4/6 0/0 2 28 0 0 1 0 6
M. Nzei 7 3 0 1/4 0/0 5/6 1 22 0 0 1 2 1
Q. McKnight 5 1 3 2/6 0/1 1/1 3 20 3 0 5 0 1
S. Mamukelashvili 4 7 3 1/6 0/3 2/2 2 28 2 2 0 2 5
M. Powell 3 1 0 1/5 0/3 1/2 1 26 0 0 7 0 1
Bench PTS REB AST FG 3PT FT PF MIN STL BLK TO OREB DREB
S. Reynolds 8 2 1 3/9 2/6 0/0 2 16 1 1 1 1 1
J. Rhoden 5 3 0 2/6 1/2 0/1 0 18 2 0 0 0 3
A. Nelson 4 1 3 2/3 0/1 0/2 2 16 0 0 0 0 1
R. Gill 2 3 0 1/4 0/0 0/0 2 16 0 0 2 2 1
T. Thompson 0 0 0 0/1 0/1 0/0 0 4 0 0 0 0 0
D. Brodie 0 0 0 0/0 0/0 0/0 0 3 0 0 0 0 0
A. Avent 0 1 0 0/1 0/0 0/0 1 3 0 0 0 0 1
I. Obiagu - - - - - - - - - - - - -
Total 52 28 10 18/52 7/23 9/14 16 200 8 3 17 7 21
Starters PTS REB AST FG 3PT FT PF MIN STL BLK TO OREB DREB
P. Booth 25 5 5 8/15 7/13 2/4 0 32 1 0 2 0 5
E. Paschall 17 8 0 7/12 3/6 0/0 2 30 0 0 3 0 8
S. Bey 10 3 1 4/7 2/4 0/0 3 20 1 0 0 1 2
C. Gillespie 8 2 1 3/9 2/8 0/0 2 23 3 0 1 0 2
J. Samuels 4 3 3 0/1 0/1 4/5 1 27 3 2 0 3 0
Starters PTS REB AST FG 3PT FT PF MIN STL BLK TO OREB DREB
P. Booth 25 5 5 8/15 7/13 2/4 0 32 1 0 2 0 5
E. Paschall 17 8 0 7/12 3/6 0/0 2 30 0 0 3 0 8
S. Bey 10 3 1 4/7 2/4 0/0 3 20 1 0 0 1 2
C. Gillespie 8 2 1 3/9 2/8 0/0 2 23 3 0 1 0 2
J. Samuels 4 3 3 0/1 0/1 4/5 1 27 3 2 0 3 0
Bench PTS REB AST FG 3PT FT PF MIN STL BLK TO OREB DREB
J. Quinerly 8 3 2 3/5 2/4 0/0 3 15 0 0 3 0 3
J. Cremo 3 0 2 1/4 1/4 0/0 2 26 0 0 1 0 0
D. Cosby-Roundtree 2 8 2 1/2 0/0 0/0 2 15 1 0 2 3 5
B. Slater 2 2 0 1/3 0/2 0/2 1 9 0 1 1 1 1
T. Delaney 1 1 0 0/0 0/0 1/2 0 3 0 1 1 1 0
P. Heck - - - - - - - - - - - - -
C. Swider - - - - - - - - - - - - -
T. Saunders - - - - - - - - - - - - -
K. Hoehn - - - - - - - - - - - - -
Total 80 35 16 28/58 17/42 7/13 16 200 9 4 14 9 26