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Two Different Types of Battle, Seton Hall and Villanova Reach Final



Myles Powell led Seton Hall with 18 second half points and the year's Big East player Markus Howard of Marquette came up with a potential 3-pointer winner in the buzzer to give the Pirates a chippy and foul-filled 81 -79 victory in the semifinals of the Big East Tournament Friday night at the Madison Square Garden.

After winning a game featuring three ejection and 85 free throws, the third seeded Pirates (20-12) will face the top seed and defending champion Villanova on the final Saturday night in the rematch of the 2016 title game won by Seton Hall.

The expected showdown between Howard and Powell, the top two conference scorers, never fully materialized. Howard scored 21 points but finished 1 in 15 from the field. He also went to the locker room with 2 minutes remaining 24 seconds in the first half, favors his left wrist. He started the second half, but the 90 percent free throw thrower was 18 for 24 from the line for Marquette (24-9), which lost five to six.

Powell, who scored 29 points in the first half of the quarterfinals against Georgetown, managed only 4 in the first 20 minutes while Marquette had a 36-33 lead at halftime.

Powell continued a personal 8-0 run second, with a pair of 3-pointers and pull-up jumper who gave Seton Hall the first win of the game, 46-44, at 14:55 left over.

Soon he took his third foul. Complained from Seton Hall Coach Kevin Willard, who was given technical assistance. Marquette scored four free throws to recover the lead.

Shortly afterwards, Powell fouled to the rim and officers had to isolate teams with 12:18 remaining. No bubbles have been dropped, but Seton Hall's Marquette's Sick and Sandro Mamukelashvili have acquired secondary technical support and released, like Marquette's Theo John in pushing a defenseless player on the fly .

Powell also got technical, and it looked as if he was also released when he walked into the locker room.

VILLANOVA 71, XAVIER 67 Phil Booth recorded 28 points, Jermaine Samuels recorded three critical 3-pointers and no. 25 Villanova rebounded at Xavier overtime to reach the fifth consecutive Big East championship game.

Defending NCAA Wildcats champions (24-9) are trying to be the first team in the 40-year history of Big East to win three straight tournaments.

Villanova (24-9) eliminates a 7-point deficit in the last three minutes of regulation. Booth and his senior senior star Eric Paschall recorded 5 points in extra period while the Wildcats unleashed a determined Xavier squad.

Paul Scruggs recorded career-high 28 points and Zach Hankins added 18 to 8-of-10 shooting for the fourth-seeded Musketeers (18-15), winning seven out of eight. Scruggs, a sophomore guard, also have 11 rebounds and 7 assists.


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