Bridges scores 23, No. 4 Villanova holds off Seton Hall

(Photo by Abbie Parr/Getty Images)

NEWARK, N.J. — Mikal Bridges scored 23 points, Jalen Brunson made big plays down the stretch and No. 4 Villanova avoided consecutive losses for the first time since the 2012-13 season with a hard-fought 69-68 overtime victory over Seton Hall on Wednesday night.

Brunson, who was 1 of 8 from the field midway through the second half, finished with 14 points, including two free throws in the waning seconds of overtime to give Villanova (26-4, 13-4 Big East) a 69-66 lead.

Khadeen Carrington closed out the scoring with two free throws with a second to play to finish off a 23-point night for Seton Hall (20-10, 9-8), However, he also missed a free throw with 11.6 seconds left in regulation that could have given the Pirates a late one-point lead.

Villanova never trailed in the overtime after Phil Booth and Brunson sandwiched 3-pointers around a free throw by Angel Delgado for a 60-55 lead.

Miles Powell added 14 points for Seton Hall, which played without leading scorer Desi Rodriguez (ankle) for the second straight game and saw its three-game winning streak snapped.

Carrington had a chance to give Seton Hall the lead when he went to the line for two free throws with the Pirates trailing 52-51 with 11.6 seconds to play. He missed the first and made the second.

Villanova called time out with 9.1 seconds to play in regulation to set up a final shot but Seton Hall denied Brunson the ball and Donte DiVincenzo’s 3-pointer just before the buzzer never looked good.

The Wildcats seemingly had the game within their grasp when Brunson hit a short jumper in the lane for a 50-49 lead and Bridges scored on a layup seconds later after Miles Cale turned the ball over with 44 seconds to play.

Carrington closed the gap to a point with two free throws with 36 seconds to go. The Pirates were then forced to foul four times to get Nova into a 1-and-1 situation and Brunson made the plan work out, missing his free throw with 23.6 seconds to go.

Carrington had a chance to end the Wildcats streak but missed his opportunity.

Trailing 36-25 with 12:45 left in the second half, Powell hit two 3-pointers to cap a personal 8-0 run that got the Pirates within 36-33 with 10:55 to play.

After Bridges hit a reverse layup, Seton Hall continued its 14-2 spurt that Carrington capped for a 39-38 lead. The game seesawed the rest of the way.


Villanova: Still have a chance to tie for regular-season Big East title, but Xavier would have to loss to DePaul

Seton Hall: Need to win Saturday to avoid slipping into the bottom four in the league.


Villanova: Host Georgetown on Saturday afternoon in regular-season finale

Seton Hall: Host Butler on Saturday night in the seniors’ final home game.