Villanova Wildcats 2019 Big East Champions (Photo-4.0 Sports)

By:|Marvin Chambers:|Marvin Chambers

Madison Square Garden — It had a feeling like the old Big East Games of the past when Mullins, Ewing, Seikaly, and Pickney ran up and down the hardwood.

In front of 19,812 fans in Madison Square Garden-making it the fourth session of the week to post a full sellout. Pirates’ Myles Powell had the ball in his hands with the game on the line and Booth guarding him in the final few seconds left in the contest.

This is what everybody paid their money to see the best two guards in the country going at it in the waning minutes of the game. Powell pulled up from deep in the right corner with Booth right hand as a deterrent, forcing Powell to barely miss with three ticks left in regulation as the top-seeded Wildcats squeaked out a 74-72 victory.

“I know the type of player I am, and I wanted to win it. I wasn’t going to overtime or none of that. I have to live with it.” Seton Hall Myles Powell said.

It was Seton Hall fourth Big East Tournament appearance and first since 2016. The Pirates are now 3-1, claiming the trophy in 1991 and 1993.

Early in the game Nova had a nice flow with their offensive flow shooting 35.7 percent (10-28) from the floor and 28.6 percent (4-14) from beyond the arc in the first half. Villanova took a narrow lead 28-26 into the break. Eric Paschall gave the Pirates fits in the post scoring 11 points and set the tone for the Cats early.

“I’m so proud of what we accomplished and where we are. That’s a good basketball team out there cutting down the nets. They deserve it. They fought hard. They had some big stops. But I love the fact my team fought, and we had a chance to win it. I’ll take him (Powell) shooting the last-second shot every day.” Seton Hall coach Kevin Willard said.

Seton Hall made some defensive adjustments in the second half and pushed the tempo on offense, making Villanova work harder on both fronts of the ball.

The game was a track meet in the last few minutes of the contest but the team that had the ball last was going to be crown the Big East Tournament Champions.

With 2:45 left in the game Villanova had a 68-59 lead and things looked bleak for SHU. But when you have a Myles Powell on your team anything is possible. Powell drained a few shots, blocks, and assists before you blinked an eye the Pirates were only down by one. After a time out, Powell went around a screen right side of the key but Villanova’s defense played the inbound pass well and Powell shot bounced off the cylinder.

Myles Powell finished with 25 points, four assists, and three swipes and capped off a 78-point three-day total. Anthony Nelson chipped in 12 points. Seton Hall will make into their fourth straight NCAA Tournament.

We’re fighters,” the junior said. “If it was up to us we’d practice tomorrow. Coach said take the day off. We know we still have a lot of basketball ahead of us, and we’re going to be ready.”

Villanova Phil Booth scored 16 points and earned Most Outstanding Player honors as the Cats raised the trophy for the third consecutive and fourth in the past five.

“We want to give a lot of credit to Seton Hall. I think Kevin’s done as good a job as anybody in this country. This team, they could beat anybody in the NCAA Tournament.” Villanova Jay Wright said.