Seton Hall Pirates
Seton Hall-Villanova Preview (Jan 16, 2017)
Seton Hall Pirates

Seton Hall-Villanova Preview (Jan 16, 2017)

Published Jan. 16, 2017 1:24 p.m. ET

VILLANOVA, Pa. -- Donte DiVincenzo has steadily moved up the depth chart as a redshirt freshman for newly ranked No. 1 Villanova.

After DiVincenzo scored a career-best 19 points in a 70-57 win at St. John's on Saturday at Madison Square Garden, more minutes are surely warranted for the ever-improving guard.

DiVincenzo was 7 of 10 shots from the field and 3 of 5 from beyond the arc in a stellar 31-minute performance.

The win pushed the Wildcats to 17-1 overall and 5-1 in the Big East in preparation for a quick turnaround with a visit from Seton Hall on Monday night at 6:30 p.m. ET at The Pavilion.


"My focus is on defending and rebounding," DiVincenzo told reporters after the win over St. John's. "If the shots are falling, great."

Villanova has taken the last 14 meetings with Seton Hall at its on-campus arena but lost 69-67 in the championship game of last year's Big East tournament title game. The Wildcats rebounded in a big way to win six straight games in the NCAA Tournament on their way to a national championship.

A win over Seton Hall would give Villanova its 47th in a row at its on-campus arena, breaking the previous mark of 46 set from 2007 to 2011.

For the second straight game, Villanova got off to a slow start against St. John's before rebounding. It's a trend the Wildcats would like to halt.

"We didn't bring it," said preseason national player of the year candidate Josh Hart, who had 11 points and six rebounds against St. John's. "That's on the three seniors -- Kris (Jenkins), Darryl (Reynolds) and myself. We have to set a tone and be examples for these guys. That's something that we didn't do."

Still, the Wildcats keep winning. Only an eight-point loss at Butler has stymied what would be an unbeaten team.

"I'm not upset," Villanova coach Jay Wright said. "We've got great guys. I'm just being honest. There are a lot of positives to take out of this game.

"No one is surprised by Donte, but it's good to see him do it on the road, in a big-time setting at the Garden. Getting Eric (Paschall) going is big for us. Kris, Josh and Jalen (Brunson) have been in so many big games for us and have come through so many times, we know we've got that."

Seton Hall (12-5, 2-3 Big East) has dropped two straight games on the road -- an 89-86 overtime loss at Marquette and a 65-61 decision at Providence.

In the loss at Providence, Seton Hall was paced by junior Desi Rodriguez, who scored 20 points. Angel Delgado posted his 11th consecutive double-double with 12 points and 16 rebounds, moving past Eddie Griffin, who had 10 consecutive double-doubles in 2001.

Seton Hall did manage to outrebound Providence 39-29.

Yet the reeling Pirates are beginning to frustrate coach Kevin Willard.

"It's an embarrassment," Willard said in his postgame radio interview after the loss at Providence. "We jogged around giving up easy transition buckets.

"I am so -- I wouldn't say disappointed. I am past that. I am more frustrated. ... We're going to make a little change."

Whatever change that might be will be a difficult task at Villanova.


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