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

Jimmy V Classic

NEW YORK, NY - DECEMBER 05: Donte DiVincenzo #10 and Mikal Bridges #25 of the Villanova Wildcats react in the first half against the Gonzaga Bulldogs during their game at Madison Square Garden on December 5, 2017 in New York City. (Photo by Abbie Parr/Getty Images)

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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.