The Georgetown men’s basketball (14-10, 4-9 Big East) avoided a fifth straight defeat Saturday at Capital One Arena with a thrilling 83-80 victory over Seton Hall (17-8, 6-6 Big East). With the game tied, junior forward Marcus Derrickson hit a game-winning three pointer with 4.5 seconds remaining to give the Hoyas their first victory since beating St. John’s (13-13, 2-11 Big East) in overtime back on January 20th.
The Hoyas started the game hot, making seven of their first ten shots, but were unable to build a significant lead early on. At the 12 minute mark of the first half, graduate student guard Trey Dickerson drove hard and threaded the needle to find junior guard/forward Kaleb Johnson for a layup underneath. That play triggered a 9-2 spurt from the Hoyas, capped off by a perfectly run fast break leading to a Euro step layup from sophomore guard Jagan Mosely. The Pirates remained unfazed, though, and clawed their way back within five points just three minutes later.
After the game, head coach Patrick Ewing applauded the Pirates and their ability to stay in the game. “They’re a good team,” he said. “They’re a quality ballclub. We have to tip our hats off to them.”
With just over five minutes to go in the first half, junior guard Marcus Derrickson flew in to grab an offensive rebound over three Seton Hall defenders before going up strong for a layup off the glass. That was one of 18 rebounds on the game for Derrickson, a new career-high.
A minute later, freshman guard Jamorko Pickett rose up for an enormous block on a layup attempt from Seton Hall senior guard Khadeen Carrington. The play highlighted an impressive defensive display from the Hoyas in the first half, as the Pirates shot just 34.3 percent from the field. Georgetown’s lead steadily increased from there. With under a minute remaining, senior guard Jonathan Mulmore found Derrickson at the top of the key and he did not hesitate, sinking a three-pointer to put the Hoyas up by 15.
At the end of the half, Georgetown was up 46-33. Derrickson, who had 22 points on the game, already had a double-double with 14 points and 10 rebounds going into the break. After the outstanding performance, Ewing spoke about his forward’s improved play on both ends. “He has been playing great for us,” he said. “He’s stepped up, not only offensively, but defensively too.”
The game was far from over, though, as the Pirates came out of the break with renewed energy. In the first six minutes of the second half, they scored 18 points, including eight from senior forward Desi Rodriguez, and were back within just two points. After a fast break dunk from Rodriguez, Pickett hit a three-pointer to give the Hoyas some breathing room after it appeared the Pirates were ready to take over the game.
Ewing reflected on his team’s ability to remain focused as the Pirates continuously threatened Georgetown’s lead. “We could have easily let the rope go, but we still fought,” he said. “We did a great job of fighting back and keeping our composure.”
The game remained close until just after the under-8 minute timeout when freshman guard Jahvon Blair was fouled on a three-pointer and made all three free throws. The Hoyas went up 67-59 and seemed to be in control, but Seton Hall came back yet again. This time, sophomore guard Myles Powell hit two three-pointers as part of an 8-0 run to tie the game at 67 with six minutes remaining. Less than a minute later, the Pirates took their first lead on an up-and-under layup from senior center Angel Delgado.
After the game, Derrickson spoke about the difficulties of guarding Delgado, a player who has been a fixture down low in Big East games for several years now. “He’s probably the strongest player in our league so we just wanted to make it tough for him,” he said. Delgado finished with 12 points and 12 rebounds.
With less than four minutes to go in the game, the Hoyas were down one until Pickett hit a three to put his team back on top. Derrickson followed that with a tough fadeaway jumper in the paint, but Powell responded for the Pirates with his sixth three-pointer of the game, helping him to a game-high 25 points.
Out of a Georgetown timeout, junior center Jessie Govan converted a midrange jumper to put the Hoyas up five with just over a minute remaining. However, on the next possession, Powell drove right and hit an incredible and-one layup over Govan. He made the free throw to bring Seton Hall within two. The next trip down, Derrickson looked to seal the game with a three, but was stripped going up and Carrington took it all the way for a dunk on the other end to tie the game at 80. With 30 seconds remaining, Ewing drew up a play and the ball eventually came to Derrickson on the top of the key. Despite being fouled and brought to the ground by Carrington, he made the clutch three pointer. He missed the free throw, but it did not matter as Powell was unable to sink his three-point attempt at the buzzer and Georgetown came out victorious.
Derrickson explained what was going through his head as he delivered the game-winning shot. “Honestly my mentality was just to make up for that turnover,” he said. “I got the shot and I knew I had to be confident.”
Derrickson was Georgetown’s top scorer with 22 points. Pickett notched 18 points and Govan contributed 11 to go along with his 7 rebounds. For the Pirates, Powell and Rodriguez led the way with 25 and 24 points, respectively.
After coming up short in so many close games this season, Ewing was delighted to finally see one go his team’s way. “It’s hard to take moral victories. I want to win,” he said. “That’s what I’m here for. I’ve been a winner all my life. I want [the players] to be winners and consider themselves winners.”
The Hoyas next face off against Butler (17-9, 7-6 Big East) on Saturday away in Indianapolis, Indiana. Tip-off is slated for 6:30 p.m. ET, and the game will be broadcast on CBS Sports Network. Follow @GUVoiceSports on Twitter for live updates and breaking news.