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VILLANOVA, Pa. (AP) - Fuquan Edwin scored eight of Seton Hall’s first 10 points to trigger thoughts of an upset.
Edwin wouldn’t score again after the early burst, and the Pirates’ offense went bust.
James Bell scored 20 points and JayVaughn Pinkston had 19 to lead No. 6 Villanova to its fifth straight victory, 70-53 over Seton Hall on Friday night. The victory was the 400th of Villanova coach Jay Wright’s college career.
Sterling Gibbs led Seton Hall (13-10, 4-6) with 16 points
Seton Hall made only two baskets in the first 6 minutes of the second half and never seriously threatened the rest of the game.
The Pirates played without Edwin, their second leading scorer, and Eugene Teague, their top rebounder, in their 83-67 loss to Villanova on Jan. 8. Edwin and Teague were back in the lineup, but it didn’t really matter - the Pirates haven’t won a road game against Villanova since Feb. 26, 1994.
The Pirates had 15 turnovers.
“We were just a little loose on the ball at times,” Seton Hall coach Kevin Willard said. “They do a good job, especially at home, in this building. They really turn up the heat. The students were great. I think it’s a different atmosphere here than it is anywhere else.”
The Villanova students ended the game with chants of “400! 400!” at the popular coach for his milestone win.
Know as much for his tasteful designer suits worn without a wrinkle, Wright has won 278 games at Villanova (278-146; 2001-present) after going 122-85 at Hofstra (1994-2001). Wright has led his teams to 10 NCAA tournaments and took the Wildcats to the 2009 Final Four.
The Wildcats (21-2, 9-1 Big East) are perennial Big East contenders and this season’s team is his best since ‘09.
“I just feel very fortunate to be able to coach at Villanova,” Wright said. “Whoever coaches at Villanova is going to get a lot of wins.”
Alexander Severance won 413 games over 25 seasons (1936-1961), John Kraft won 238 over 12 seasons and Rollie Massimino won 357 games in 19.
Wright and Massimino both have nine 20-win seasons at Villanova, though Massimino has the one win that really matters, the 1985 national championship over Georgetown.
“Some of it makes me feel old,” Wright said, smiling. “I just think about the next game. It’s humbling when people talk about it.”
By Tammy Bruce
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