NEWARK, N.J. -- A quick take on Seton Hall's 60-57 loss to No. 14 Villanova on Tuesday night at the Prudential Center.
WHAT IT MEANS: Seton Hall falls to 11-15 overall, and 5-9 in Big East play. The Pirates yet again hang tough against a ranked opponent at The Rock, but can't quite pull a victory out. Seton Hall is now 1-7 against ranked opponents this season.
Villanova improves to 20-6 overall, and 8-5 in Big East play. The Wildcats had lost two straight, and avoid their first three-game losing streak since 2008.
THE SKINNY: The first half was a tight-knit affair. Seton Hall took a five-point lead early, 9-4. Villanova bounced back and led by as many as six, 28-22. But the Pirates scored the final six points of the half, and the game was tied at intermission. Jeremy Hazell had 16 of Seton Hall's 28 points before halftime, shooting 5-for-12 from the field.
The second half was pretty tight as well. Villanova did jump out to an nine-point lead at 57-48 with 5:34 remaining, but Seton Hall clawed back. Hazell had two chances to tie the game in the final minute. Down 59-57, he missed a bank shot in the paint. And down 60-57, he missed a deep 3-point attempt at the final buzzer.
HIGH SCORERS: Hazell, playing in his first home game since breaking the 2,000 career points barrier on Saturday night at Rutgers, was honored before the game at center court. He finished with a game-high 25 points. Seton Hall's all-time leading scorer, Terry Dehere (2,494 career points), was sitting courtside.
Villanova, playing without second-leading scorer Corey Stokes (turf toe), got a huge lift from James Bell. The 6-foot-5 freshman who was averaging just 1.8 points in 8.5 minutes per game, exploded for 21 points on 7-for-9 shooting, including 4-for-6 from downtown.
BIG NUMBER: Seton Hall shot just 4-for-26 from beyond the arc -- and all four makes were by Hazell, who was 4-for-13 from long range. The rest of the team was 0-for-13, which really hurt. Hazell got very little help in this game offensively. Jordan Theodore had 10 points. No other Pirate scored more than seven.
WHAT'S NEXT: Seton Hall will play at Marquette on Saturday night. Villanova plays at DePaul on Saturday afternoon.