In need of a win to avoid securing back-to-back losing seasons, the Georgetown men’s basketball team (14-16, 5-12 Big East) was unable to maintain a late lead, falling to Seton Hall (19-10, 9-8 Big East) by a score of 62-59 on Tuesday night. Junior forward Desi Rodriguez led to Pirates with 27 points on 10-20 shooting from the field, while junior forward Angel Delgado added 12 points and 13 rebounds. Georgetown was led by junior guard L.J. Peak, who scored 15 points but five turnovers. Sophomore forward Marcus Derrickson added nine points (all in the second half) in addition to four rebounds.
Georgetown is now guaranteed to finish the regular season with a losing record for the second consecutive season for the first time since the 1971-72 and 1972-73 seasons. Additionally, the Hoyas have locked up the nine-seed in next week’s Big East Tournament, which will be held in Madison Square Garden from March 8-11.
Both teams were hot to begin the game as graduate student guard Rodney Pryor and L.J. Peak scored Georgetown’s first ten points. They were countered by the duo of Rodriguez and Delgado, with the former hitting jump shots and the latter making layups in the paint. A tip-in from Georgetown sophomore center Jessie Govan tied the game at 12 apiece with 14:25 remaining in the half. The teams struggled with turnovers and cold-shooting for the following four minutes, but the Blue and Gray managed a four point lead after a three-pointer from Peak midway through the half. From there, Seton Hall utilized hot shooting and strong offensive rebounding to retake the lead, 18-17, just two minutes later on a three-pointer from Rodriguez. The Pirates opened up a six point lead in the ensuing five minutes, capped by a layup by freshman guard Myles Powell. Georgetown answered with a three-pointer from senior guard Reggie Cameron II eighteen seconds later, but Rodriguez proved too much to handle to close the half. The junior scored seven points in the final 2:05 to help give the Pirates a 38-30 lead entering the halftime break.
Georgetown quickly closed this gap to start the second half. Cameron II scored four points in the first five minutes of the half, and a layup from Govan with 15:09 remaining made it a one-point game in favor of the Pirates, 42-41. An and-one layup from Derrickson just a minute later tied the game at 44, but Rodriguez drilled a three to put the Pirates back in the lead. Georgetown then utilized a 6-0 run, capped by a dunk from Peak, to claim a 50-47 advantage with 11:35 to play. Derrickson and senior center Bradley Hayes provided valuable minutes off the bench in the half, helping replace the production of Pryor, who was sidelined with foul trouble for much of the half. The two combined for six straight points midway through the half to give Georgetown a 56-53 lead with just over six minutes left on the clock. The teams exchanged turnovers and missed shots for much of the remainder of the half.
With two minutes remaining, the Hoyas led by three, 59-56. On Seton Hall’s next offensive possession, Peak fouled Rodriguez, who was attempting a three-pointer, with five seconds on the shot clock. Rodriguez made 2-3 attempts from the line to pull his team within one, 59-58, with 1:53 remaining. Peak then turned the ball over on the Hoyas’ next possession, and the Pirates capitalized with a layup by Delgado, forcing Georgetown Head Coach John Thompson III to call timeout with his team down one and 1:01 left on the clock. Out of the timeout, Govan’s pass was intercepted, but the ball was fumbled by Seton Hall and ended up in the hands of L.J. Peak. Peak, however, was stranded in a sea of Pirates as many of his teammates had retreated to play defense. He turned the ball over with :50 remaining. The Hoyas were able to force a miss on the defensive end, but Seton Hall grabbed its nineteenth offensive rebound with :24 remaining, forcing Georgetown to foul. Junior guard Khadeen Carrington made both free throws, giving the Pirates a 62-59 advantage.
On their final possession of the game, Georgetown called timeout with :15 left on the game clock. Out of the timeout, the Hoyas ran a play that consisted of a series of dribble handoffs on the perimeter. The ball ended up in the hands of Pryor, who was forced to attempt a step-back three-pointer from the wing. His shot hit the top of the backboard as the buzzer sounded, cementing a losing season for the Hoyas.
Georgetown ended the game with fifteen turnovers to Seton Hall’s nine. In addition, the Pirates outrebounded the Hoyas by nine, 37-28.
The Blue and Gray will finish the regular season on Saturday when they host No. 2 Villanova (27-3, 14-3 Big East). The game will tip-off at noon and will be broadcast nationally on FOX.
Image Credits: Jack Townsend/The Georgetown Voice