EAST RUTHERFORD, N.J. (AP) -- Curtis Sumpter stepped up every
time Villanova needed a lift.
The junior forward from Brooklyn scored 25 points to lead Villanova to a 66-52 win over Seton Hall on Thursday night. Sumpter
came up with the key baskets late in both halves as the Wildcats
(16-6, 6-5 Big East) won for the fourth time in the last five
"Curtis Sumpter, in the first half he did it and in the second
half, when we had some droughts, he stepped up and made some
bigtime shots," said Villanova coach Jay Wright.
"The key is try to stay positive all the time," said Sumpter.
"Even when the shots don't drop, we can still hustle and play hard
Andre Sweet had 13 points for Seton Hall (11-11, 3-8) and Kelly
Whitney scored 10 for the Pirates, who have just one win in their
last five games.
Villanova (No. 25 AP) took control with a 19-8 run to close out the first
half with a 33-21 lead. Sumpter was the catalyst with three
3-pointers in that 7:47 span.
Villanova also got help from the mistake-prone Pirates. Seton
Hall committed 16 turnovers in the first half to tilt what had been
a close game solidly in the Wildcats' favor.
"Basically, we hurt ourselves tonight," said Seton Hall coach
Louis Orr. "We turned the ball over, especially in the first
The Pirates tried to rally early in the second half and managed
to cut the deficit to eight when Jamar Nutter hit a 3-pointer,
making it 35-27.
Villanova opened an 18-point lead, 49-31, but Seton Hall clawed
back with 12 straight points, the last six on consecutive
3-pointers by Justin Cerasoli.
Sumpter, as he did in the first half, turned the game back in
Villanova's favor with five straight points to give the Wildcats a
Seton Hall played without swingman J.R. Morris, who was
suspended to "focus on his academic obligations," according to a
written statement issued by the school. Morris had started 20 of
the Pirates' 21 games and was averaging 10.1 points, third best on