In the hallway of The Pavilion, the mini-party line weaved its way off of the main court and into the home head coach's locker room. Villanova's Jay Wright had just won his 400th career game, in a 70-53 drubbing over Seton Hall and led a caravan of friends, high-profile recruits and school big-wigs into his office. Meanwhile, at the other end of the hallway was Kevin Willard.

The Pirates head coach waited to speak with a small cluster of reporters, but before he could get through his first sentence, he had to squeeze to the side as a Wildcats student manager barreled a ball rack through. It nearly clipped him on the elbow.

Another night to forget on the Main Line.

"You don't have an out (against Villanova)," Willard said after the commotion cleared. "You can't zone off of somebody. You can't cheat off of somebody. Because if you do, they're going to burn you."

Oh, they did.

For the first 16 minutes, Willard's Seton Hall team had managed to stay away from all of that. The Pirates were making shots, senior guard Fuquan Edwin was finding all of the open seams on the floor and the Wildcats were a step behind every player wearing a black uniform. It looked like finally Seton Hall had figured out a formula which would allow it to leave The Pavilion with a win for the first time since Feb. 26, 1994.

Then came the Villanova run.

Beginning at the 3:02 mark and continuing for the next 117 seconds, the sixth-ranked Wildcats showed why the Pirates have not won on their home court since the Clinton administration. Villanova (21-2, 9-1 Big East) ripped off a 9-1 run to close out the first half. And put Seton Hall (13-10, 4-6 Big East) down for the count.

"We weren't far away from this game," said sophomore Sterling Gibbs, who led the Pirates with 16 points on the night. "We just let them go on their run and we really couldn't answer. So we are not far away, we're just going to stay positive."

For Seton Hall, that is getting harder and harder to do.

With eight games left before the start of the Big East conference tournament on March 12, the Pirates know they need to take advantage of five of those games being on their home floor. But this was a team that was brimming with confidence after winning on the road at Xavier last weekend and showed that in the first 16 minutes of the game.

Only Villanova didn't back down.

"We were down and within two when we went on a run there," Wright said about the end of the first half. "We put together some stops. ... We were playing really well at the end of the half."

In the end, Seton Hall was done in by Villanova's depth. Four Wildcats scored in double-figures, led by senior guard James Bell's 20 points. JayVaughn Pinkston added 19 points, while sophomore center Daniel Ochefu put together a double-double night with 10 points and 10 rebounds.

"Ochefu is probably as improved as a player in the league as anybody," Willard said. "And Pinkston's been that way for the last two years — really tough. I think that's what's taken this team over the edge."