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Seton Hall knocks off Villanova for big boost to NCAA hopes

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Seton Hall has likely punched its ticket to the NCAA Tournament.

After three straight league losses put the Pirates squarely on the bubble, they responded with their second straight win over a ranked opponent as Seton Hall held off No. 23 Villanova, 79-75, at Prudential Center on Saturday afternoon.

The victory follows one over No. 16 Marquette and guarantees the Pirates will finish no worse than the No. 4 seed in the Big East tournament. They will be seeded third if St. John’s loses to Xavier later Saturday.

Myles Powell led Seton Hall (18-12, 9-9) with 20 points, seven rebounds and five assists. Myles Cale had 19 points and Sandro Mamukelashvili chipped in 12 points and 18 rebounds. Collin Gillespie paced five Villanova starters in double figures with 22 points. Phil Booth added 16 points for the Wildcats (22-9, 13-5).

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