NEWARK, N.J.: Jeremiah Robinson-Earl scored 23 points in 21 minutes and No. 3 Villanova rolled to ninth straight victory with an unexpectedly easy 80-72 decision over Seton Hall on Saturday.
Jermaine Samuels added 17 points and Justin Moore had 16 for Jay Wright’s team. Collin Gillespie had 11 points and a career-high 11 assists.
The Wildcats (11-1, 6-0 Big East) built a double-digit lead midway through the first half and were really never threatened in handing Seton Hall (9-8, 6-5) its third straight loss to a ranked opponent.
Shevar Reynolds had 13 points and Jaren Rhoden, Sandro Mamukelashvili and Myles Cale all scored 12 points for Seton Hall.
The Pirates’ last two losses were close. They endured a crushing last-second setback to Villanova on Jan. 19 and then lost a four-point decision to No. 17 Creighton on Wednesday in a game the Hall blew a 16-point second-half lead.
This one was decided in the opening 13 minutes. With the game tied at 9, the Wildcats went on a 16-3 burst that featured five points apiece by Robinson-Earl and Moore.
Villanova: This was a methodical victory by a smart team. Everyone contributed on both ends of the court despite the team playing only its third game this month. A game earlier this week was postponed by COVID issues with the officials.
Seton Hall: The Pirates have played one of the toughest schedules in the country, but have not posted a signature victory that might convince people they belong in the NCAA Tournament.
Villanova: at St. John’s on Wednesday.
Seton Hall: at Providence on Wednesday.
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