In what may have been the most thrilling Big East game of the season, the Georgetown Hoyas (18-11, 8-8 Big East) scraped out a nail-biting double-overtime victory over the Seton Hall Pirates (17-12, 7-9 Big East), 77-71, on Saturday night. Myles Powell scored 35 points, but Seton Hall struggled for complimentary scoring as Sandro Mamukelashvili was the only other Pirate to score in double digits with 14 points. Jessie Govan, who started just 1-for-11 from the field, finished with 21 points and 12 rebounds. Josh LeBlanc added 14 points and a career-high 17 rebounds, while James Akinjo notched 16 points.
The win is a major boost for the Hoyas’ NCAA Tournament resume. The Hoyas, now 1.5 games ahead of teams currently ranked 7-10 in the conference, are primed to avoid the Wednesday night games in the conference tournament for the first time since 2015, with a marquee game against Marquette still on their plate. Seton Hall, meanwhile, now faces an uphill battle in securing a bid. The Pirates will host Villanova and Marquette to close out the season, and are in need of another premier win to bolster their chances.
Powell opened the game by scoring Seton Hall’s first eight points, but the Hoyas received boosts from their freshman trio of LeBlanc, Akinjo and Mac McClung, which scored 12 points early. Despite a hot start for both teams to open the action, the remainder of the first half was disappointed. Neither team was able to put together coherent possessions for sustained periods of time, and Georgetown went six minutes and 39 seconds without scoring a point midway through the half. Govan, individually, was held scoreless in the first 20 minutes. Though Powell managed 17 first-half points, the Pirates couldn’t take advantage of the Hoyas’ drought, taking just a six-point lead with as little as 53 seconds remaining. Trey Mourning made a layup just before the halftime buzzer to knock the Seton Hall lead back down to four, 28-24.
Georgetown swung first after the break, with Govan breaking his scoreless streak by making a laup, but Powell answered with an and-one minutes later to restore the five-point lead. LeBlanc and McClung orchestrated a 5-0 run to tie the game. Then, Jagan Mosely, starting for a second-consecutive game in place of Jamorko Pickett, grabbed an offensive rebound and made the putback layup through contact, giving Georgetown a three-point lead, its largest of the night to that point. The teams exchanged baskets in the ensuring minutes, tying three times between the U12 and U8 media timeouts.
Then, with 4:57 remaining, Quincy McKnight converted a layup and slapped the floor on defense as Akinjo brought the ball up. Akinjo isolated McKnight, drove to the rim, and made a layup of his own. Akinjo then got in McKight’s face and slapped the floor on the next possession, sending the stadium into a frenzy.
This did not end well for Seton Hall pic.twitter.com/gnyEMNqpNl— Shoot The Jay (@SportsManCave) March 3, 2019
Shortly after, Akinjo forced McKnight into a turnover and missed a transition layup, but LeBlanc was there to clean up and slammed the putback home, giving Georgetown a 59-57 lead with 1:27 remaining. Mamukelashvili missed a three-pointer on the Pirates’ next possession before Govan turned it over on the other end, giving Seton Hall another chance. Powell missed a deep three-pointer, but the long rebound fell to Jared Rhoden. Out of a timeout, Michael Nzei hit a hook shot in the lane to tie the game. Govan responded with a hook on the Hoyas’ final possession in regulation, but his attempt rimmed out.
Govan made an and-one layup midway through the first overtime period, providing Georgetown with a steady four-point lead. Powell hit a three on Seton Hall’s next possession. Seton Hall trailed by two with seven seconds to play after Govan hit 1-of-2 free throws late. Powell drew a double team and dished to Rhoden, who converted a dunk with one second remaining to send it to double overtime.
The second overtime belonged to Govan, who scored all 11 of Georgetown’s points in his final game at Capital One Arena. Seton Hall had no answer as Powell went cold, and Govan capped his senior night with two made free throws, much to the delight of the announced crowd of 13,753 spectators.
The Hoyas travel to Chicago to play DePaul on Wednesday evening at 8:30 p.m ET, while Seton Hall hosts Marquette on the same night at 6:30 p.m ET.