Historically speaking, the Seton Hall Pirates seem to have a hard time getting motivated to play with large amounts of energy in important games. Right now, the Pirates are a bubble team, and Tuesday evening, as they hosted the Georgetown Hoyas in Newark, they certainly played as if they want to hear their name called come Selection Sunday.
In the early goings, both teams were able to find success offensively as Georgetown was led by L.J. Peak and Rodney Pryor. The duo combined for the Hoyas’ first 10 points and turned the game into a stalemate with Seton Hall at the first media timeout 10-10.
From that point on, the teams would trade blows throughout the first half as neither team would be able to extend a lead beyond four points until 3:58 remained in the first half. Seton Hall would go on an 11-7 run to end the first half fueled by the hot-handed Desi Rodriguez, who finished the first half with 17 points.
The story of the first half was Seton Hall’s ability to fluidly move the ball on offense and find open shooters. Georgetown on the other hand struggled to match up with Seton Hall’s strength down low which resulted in early Hoya foul trouble. The Pirates led 38-30 at the break.
Coming out of the locker room it was a different story, as Georgetown went on a quick 11-2 run to cut the deficit to 42-41 which forced Kevin Willard to call a timeout with 15:03 left in the first half.
The Hoyas would dominate a good portion of the second half, eventually opening up their largest lead of the game, 54-49, with 8:15 left in the second half. They were able to hold onto the lead as L.J. Peak made a layup with 2:28 remaining to put them up 59-56. However, on the ensuing possession, the Pirates were given a breath of fresh air as Desi Rodriguez was fouled by Peak as he shot a 3-pointer. Rodriguez converted on two of three cutting into the Georgetown lead to 59-58.
Seton Hall’s go-ahead basket came with 1:12 left off of an Angel Delgado layup, the Pirates were able to hold onto the lead for the final 72 seconds, as they were victorious 62-59. Desi Rodriguez lead Seton Hall in scoring with 27 points while L.J. Peak lead Georgetown with 15 points.
Things We Learned
Angel Delgado continues to be really, really good
Tuesday night, Delgado accomplished two major feats, both having to do with rebounding. He officially set the Big East record for rebounds in a single-season tonight, while also passing Georgetown legend Patrick Ewing on the Big East all-time rebounding list. Delgado currently is sixth on the list for career rebounds.
Georgetown has so much potential, but,
The Hoyas just cannot put it together, as proven in Tuesday’s game. L.J. Peak and Rodney Pryor are dangerous weapons at the guard position as they combined for 26 points. Georgetown was even able to adjust in the second half down low and their bigs were able to exploit Seton Hall’s forwards, which they were not able to do in the first half. Is it JT3’s inability to close games by being outcoached, or is it simply the players’ lack of focus to close out games?
Whatever the reason for the Hoyas’ struggles may be, it is a shame as they have potential to be such a fun team to watch.
Seton Hall’s forecast for March looks clearer
The Pirates moved to 19-10 overall and 9-8 in Big East play with the victory. With one game remaining, Seton Hall is guaranteed to finish Big East play with at least a .500 record. They seem to be on the right side of the bubble as of now. SHU currently has two ways that they can essentially guarantee a bid come Selection Sunday. The first scenario is for the Pirates to pull off the upset at Hinkle Fieldhouse on Saturday. The second scenario, which is the more realistic of the two, would be for Seton Hall to win at least one game in the Big East Tournament.