Desperate for a victory, the Seton Hall Pirates ventured down south on I-95 to Washington D.C. There to greet them were the Georgetown Hoyas, who of late had caught fire with three straight wins and five in their last seven contests. Given the Pirates had lost five of their last six entering play on Saturday afternoon, the word “crucial” could be best suited to describe what a victory would be for Kevin Willard’s bunch.
As fate would have it, a victory would be delivered to the boys from South Orange. After needing 45 minutes to decide a winner, Seton Hall emerged with a 68-66 win over Georgetown to get back in the win column.
The player of the game for the Pirates was once again Angel Delgado. The junior forward scored 26 and pulled down 17 rebounds, shot 7-for-17 from the field and was nearly lights out from the free throw line, going 12-for-15. Seton Hall was unusually successful from the line, as the Pirates, ranked 346th in the country in FT%, shot 72.4 percent on 29 attempts.
Spearheading the effort for the Hoyas were the usual suspects. L.J. Peak and Rodney Pryor scored a combined 31 points on just 21 shots with Pryor knocking down 50 percent of his 10 attempts while Peak hit six of 11. The junior Peak was also terrific from the line, making six of his eight attempts but his fellow teammates weren’t up to their normal par.
As a team, Georgetown shot 68 percent on 25 attempts, which would be down from their season average of 74.5 percent entering play on Saturday afternoon. Given the close score, it’s fair to suggest that free throws may’ve quietly been the difference once again (as we’ll entail later).
The win puts Seton Hall at 14-8 on the year and 4-6 in the Big East. They’ll likely be favored in their next two games against Providence and St. John’s, so getting back to .500 is well within range. Georgetown on the other hand tumbles to 13-11 and 4-7 in the Big East and now has to travel to The Pavilion to face Villanova where the Wildcats never lose. Life ain’t fair.
What we learned
3-point shooting was apparently optional
Georgetown is typically a pretty good outside shooting team, but they struggled mightily on Saturday afternoon. Luckily for them, they weren’t the only ones. Seton Hall, a poor outside shooting team on the regular, was awfully ghastly in D.C. too as the teams shot a combined 4-for-30 from long range. We’re not sure whether Seton Hall’s 3-point abilities fell out on the Beltway or the Hoyas simply forgot theirs at home, but this wasn’t an exhibition from the perimeter at all.
Seton Hall can shoot well from the free throw line after all
On the flipside, whatever formula that the Pirates practiced in Saturday’s tilt should be continued on going forward. The Hall’s free throw shooting, or lack thereof, has cost them quite a few times this season. Heading into this game, they were 3-4 in games decided by five points or less. In those losses, they shot just 50-for-92 (.543) from the free throw line, so it’s pretty fair to suggest that missed free throws had done them in quite a few times. They righted that ship on Saturday however, and for their sake it’s the start of a trend and not an anomaly.
Khadeen got himself out of a slump
The junior guard for The Hall hadn’t eclipsed more than 13 points since a 22-point outburst against Marquette all the way back on January 11. That changed on Saturday with his 16-point performance in the win over the Hoyas, and what also changed up was his efficiency. Carrington shot 5-for-11 (.454) from the field, his best performance from the field since going 8-for-11 (.727) in a loss to Creighton on December 28. If the Pirates want to get back to the NCAA Tournament for the second consecutive year, they’ll need every bit of Khadeen Carrington and contributions/performances like Saturday’s can go a long way.