This may have been the straw that broke the NCAA Tournament camel’s back.
The Georgetown men’s basketball team (13-11, 6-5 Big East) dropped their third straight game Saturday night to the Seton Hall Pirates (17-6, 7-4 Big East), 69-61, in the Prudential Center. Sophomore forward Isaac Copeland led the Hoyas with 21 points and nine rebounds, while sophomore guard L.J. Peak added 17 points off the bench for the Blue and Gray, who shot only 34 percent from the field and turned it over 15 times. Sophomore forward Angel Delgado scored 19 points and pulled down 13 rebounds for the Pirates.
The game was fairly back-and-forth for the first half and early part of the second half, with the Hoyas trailing 30-29 at the break and holding a 38-36 lead after the under-16 media timeout of the second half. After that, the Pirates would never trail, going on an 8-0 run to take the lead at 44-38, while the Hoyas would not manage another field goal until the 10:55 mark. A jumper from senior forward Bradley Hayes would trim the Seton Hall lead to 56-54 with 5:04 remaining, but Hayes could not tie the game on the Hoyas’ next offensive trip, and Pirate sophomore guard Isaiah Whitehead hit a backbreaking three on the ensuing Seton Hall possession. From there, the Hoyas could not get into a rhythm offensively, turning it over on the next two possessions and missing three free throws in a row, allowing the Pirates to ice the game at the free throw line.
Speaking of fouls, there were plenty to go around for Georgetown. Hayes fouled out at the 2:52 mark, and Derrickson earned his fifth foul with 45 seconds left, becoming the seventeenth Hoya to foul out this season.
The Hoyas struggled to find scoring options outside of Peak, Copeland, and senior guard D’Vauntes Smith-Rivera, as the rest of the team combined to go 4-of-22 from the floor. Key reserves such as junior guard Reggie Cameron and freshman center Jessie Govan were unable to contribute much in spot minutes, a recurring issue for the Blue and Gray this season. The Hoyas succeeded in containing the Pirates’ sophomore perimeter duo of Whitehead and Khadeen Carrington, limiting them to a combined 5-of-25 from the field, but surrendered 15 offensive rebounds and were unsuccessful at keeping Seton Hall off the free throw line, where they shot 33 times.
The Hoyas would have kept afloat their already precarious NCAA Tournament hopes with a victory against the Pirates. Now, Georgetown faces a final seven-game stretch that includes road trips to heavily-favored No.11 Providence (18-6, 6-5 Big East) and No.3 Villanova (20-3, 10-1 Big East), and a home bout against a strong No.6 Xavier (21-2, 9-2 Big East) team the Hoyas surprisingly knocked off away last month. A march through the Big East Tournament may be the Hoyas’ most realistic shot at securing an NCAA bid as it currently stands.
Next up for the Hoyas is St. John’s (7-17, 0-11 Big East) Monday at 7:00 p.m in Verizon Center. The game will be televised on Fox Sports 1.