The Georgetown Hoyas men’s basketball team (6-10, 4-7 Big East) drowned the Seton Hall Pirates (13-8, 10-5 Big East) by a score of 75-81 on Saturday evening at McDonough Arena. Senior forward Jamorko Pickett led the Hoyas in scoring with 20 points and 7 rebounds, followed by graduate forward Chudier Bile with 16 points. Sophomore center Qudus Wahab also picked up a double-double, with 11 points and 11 rebounds for the Hoyas. Senior forward Sandro Mamukelashvili led the scoring for the Pirates with 22 points and 5 rebounds, followed by senior guard Shavar Reynolds who had 13 points and 4 assists.
Looking to rebound after a loss to Seton Hall earlier in the season, the Hoyas challenged Seton Hall’s defense early in the game. The Hoyas controlled the tip, allowing Pickett to hit a jumper to start the scoring for Georgetown, followed by freshman guard Dante Harris, tying the score at 5-5. Seton Hall’s lack of urgency in closing out allowed Georgetown to take the lead by converting on four out of six three-point attempts, led in scoring by Pickett, 11-10.
Georgetown’s defense also started strong, strengthening their lead to 16-28 by going on a 6-0 scoring run over 3:18. The Hoyas’ 12-point lead was the largest of the game and is attributed to their ability to create space in order to make more three-point shots. The Hoyas’ turnover trouble did return however, committing three in just 2:30. Turnovers allowed the Pirates to go on a 6-0 run led by Reynolds with back-to-back three-point shots, bringing Seton Hall back into the game, 35-37. Georgetown was able to maintain their lead, 35-38 at the half.
Mamukelashvili started off the second half with a pure three-point shot, allowing Seton Hall to regain their lead for the first time, 40-38. An easy layup from senior guard Myles Cale off a turnover continued the Pirates’ 7-0 run, prompting Georgetown head coach Patrick Ewing to call a timeout and regroup his team.
Limiting turnovers and keeping the pace of the game fast were the priorities for the Hoyas coming out of the timeout. “Whatever I can do to help my teammates win, I’m going to do that so if that’s getting a defensive rebound, diving on the floor, playing defense, I’m going to do whatever it takes to get the win,” said Harris.
Pickett and Bile worked to chip away at the deficit, only to be plagued by turnovers and Mamukelashvili, who was able to quickly rack up 16 points. The Hoyas’ big break came when Carey hit a deep three and headed to the line for one more, giving Georgetown its largest lead of the half, 55-63. With Reynolds on the bench with four fouls, Seton Hall was forced to rely on freshman point guard Jahari Long, whom the Hoyas were able to exploit and stretch their lead further. Their 12-2 run only ended when Cale hit a three. Carey was able to pick up his second four-point play to bring the Hoyas up 71-67, and they would not relinquish the lead for the rest of the night.
With both Bile and Wahab at four fouls, the Georgetown defense was forced to step up, preventing Seton Hall from scoring until the game was out of reach. With 50 seconds left in the game, Pickett hit a two-point shot to seal the deal for the Hoyas, who eventually beat the Pirates 81-75.
Although it was a big win for the Hoyas, Ewing thought they could do even better. “I still think our biggest win is yet to come. We beat a very good Seton Hall team that picked on us the first time we played them,” he said.
“If we take care of our business and go into the Big East Tournament on a high note, then anything is possible.”
The Hoyas will look to continue their winning streak at home against the University of Connecticut (10-6, 7-6 Big East) on February 23. Tip-off at McDough Arena is scheduled for 9:00 p.m. EST and will be broadcast on Fox Sports 1. For continued coverage of the men’s basketball team and all Georgetown sports, follow @GUVoiceSports on Twitter.