Nova holds off Seton Hall to run the Big East table
by Bryan Fonseca
Mar 19, 2019 | 7170 views | 0 0 comments | 395 395 recommendations | email to a friend | print
When Seton Hall (20-13, 9-9 Big East) had possession with 8.9 seconds remaining, down 74-72 to top-seeded Villanova (25-9, 13-5 Big East), the 19,000-plus in The Garden all knew Myles Powell would receive the ball.

After getting the entry pass near the right wing, the judicious junior dribbled out to nearly half-court while being suffocated by super senior Phil Booth.

With Booth draped all over him, Powell managed to come back toward the right wing and hoist a potential game-winning attempt from NBA three-point range, just hitting back iron.

The Pirates were gifted with another opportunity seconds later after Booth traveled following a recovery of the loose ball, but with 0.04 seconds left, Seton Hall couldn’t get off a clean attempt.

“We want to give a lot of credit to Seton Hall,” said Villanova head coach Jay Wright, who is now a four-time Big East champion.

“I think [coach] Kevin's [Willard] done as good a job as anybody in this country,” he added. “They could beat anybody in the NCAA Tournament. We have great respect for them.”

To the left of Wright were Booth and fellow senior Eric Paschall, a potential first-round pick in June’s NBA Draft. He had high praise for each of them.

“These two seniors, they're going to go down as two of the greatest Villanova basketball players of all time,” Wright said. “They've meant so much to all of us.”

It’s the first time in the history of the Big East tournament that a team won three consecutive years.

“We never really talked about it,” Paschall said. “We just tried to be the best Villanova basketball team and see where it takes us.”

“It's nice to be among some great teams,” added Booth, who was named the tournament’s Most Outstanding Player. “You can't really talk about it, it doesn't happen like that. Like he said, you have to be focused on being the best team you could be by the end of the season.”

Paschall and Powell headlined the All-Tournament team for their efforts, and were joined by Paul Scruggs (Xavier), Markus Howard (Marquette) and Quincy McKnight (Seton Hall).

Villanova enters the NCAA Tournament as a number-six seed in the South Region, and will host number-11 Saint Mary’s, who defeated Gonzaga to win the West Coast Conference.

Seton Hall is the tenth seed in the Midwest region, and will face seven-seeded Wofford on Thursday. A win could pit the Pirates against number-two seed Kentucky, whom they defeated at Madison Square Garden on December 8.
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