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No. 14 Villanova edges No. 8 Hall; Big East up for grabs

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Copyright 2020 The Associated Press. All rights reserved.

Seton Hall's Shavar Reynolds (33) faces off against Villanova's Justin Moore during the second half of an NCAA college basketball game Wednesday, March 4, 2020, in Newark, N.J. (AP Photo/John Minchillo)

NEWARK, N.J. – Villanova kept its chances alive for a piece of a sixth Big East Conference regular-season title in seven years by putting No. 8 Seton Hall's title hopes on hold.

Saddiq Bey scored 20 points and the No. 14 Wildcats overcame some late free-throw shooting woes to prevent the Pirates from clinching the league title with a 79-77 victory on Wednesday night.

“It was a great college basketball game," Villanova coach Jay Wright said. “I think they’re one of the best teams in the country, I really do. We played Baylor, we played Kansas, I think they’re right up there with those guys. So therefore, that’s a hell of a road victory against a team that we have great respect for. So to come in here and do that, that’s great effort from our guys."

Wright and Villanova (23-7, 12-5) not only won on the road, they did it without getting a point from the bench and in front of a crowd of 16,863, a record for a Seton Hall game at the Prudential Center.

Justin Moore and Jermaine Samuels added 19 points apiece and Jeremiah Robinson-Earl had nine points and 11 rebounds as the Wildcats opened the possibility of the league having a three-way tie for first place.

Collin Gillespie added 12 points for Villanova, which kept the game close by missing seven free throws in the final 1:03.

“It’s basketball, man. We work on it," Wright said of the free-throw shooting. “We shoot. Sometimes they don’t go in and you’ve got to be able to do other things. You can’t be afraid to miss.”

Sandro Mamukelashvili led Seton Hall (21-8, 13-4) with 20 points and 10 rebounds. Quincy McKnight added 16 points, six rebounds and seven assists and Myles Powell had 14 points and eight assists in their final home game.