Pregame Primer: Men’s basketball looks to maintain momentum vs. Seton Hall

February 20, 2021

Photo by John Picker/The Georgetown Voice

On Saturday, the Georgetown Hoyas men’s basketball team (6-10, 4-7 Big East) will take on the Seton Hall Pirates (13-8, 10-5 Big East) at McDonough Arena. The Hoyas are coming off a convincing victory last Saturday at McDonough, when they routed Butler (7-12, 6-10 Big East) to the tune of a 78-63 final, despite committing 23 team turnovers. The Blue & Gray are 3-2 since their COVID pause which concluded on January 30. Saturday’s game will tip off at 5:30 p.m. ET and be televised on CBS Sports Network.

Milestones were a common theme last Saturday, as senior forward Jamorko Pickett and senior guard Jahvon Blair each eclipsed 1000 career points in the win over Butler. Pickett and Blair scored 13 and 17 points, respectively, while graduate student forward Bile also chipped in 17 points. Additionally, sophomore center Qudus Wahab had a solid game, contributing 12 points and grabbing nine rebounds. It was the Hoyas’ best defensive effort in a Big East victory this year, in terms of points allowed. No Bulldog scored more than 12 points, and Butler’s starters shot just 15-of-37 from the field. 

Yet, as has mostly been the case for each Georgetown squad since Patrick Ewing became head coach, ball safety was an issue with the 23 turnovers. Namely, Blair committed nine turnovers, a game high. Blair and the Hoyas will have to take much better care of the ball if they want to continue to be competitive in the Big East.

Seton Hall last played on Wednesday, when they defeated DePaul (3-10, 1-10 Big East) by a score of 60-52 in Newark. A standout game from senior forward Sandro Mamukelashvili, which has been a common occurrence throughout this season, paved the way for the Pirates. Mamukelashvili notched a double-double on Wednesday, pouring in 25 points and grabbing 11 boards, and the Republic of Georgia-native has averaged 18 points and 7.4 rebounds per game this year. Junior guard Jaren Rhoden notched 17 points, albeit on 5-of-15 shooting, and is the Pirates’ second-leading scorer at 14.9 points per game. In addition, the Pirates won the rebounding battle against DePaul, grabbing 33 boards to the Blue Demons’ 23. 

The Hoyas’ defense of Mamukelashvili will be crucial on Saturday, as he has been a thorn in opponents’ sides all season. It will be up to Wahab and sophomore center Timothy Ighoefe to stop Mamukelashvili in the low post and tire him out on the other side of the floor. If they can limit Mamukelashvili’s damage and take better care of the basketball, there is certainly a path to victory for the underdog Hoyas.

During Ewing’s tenure as Georgetown head coach, the Hoyas have struggled against Seton Hall, to the tune of a 2-6 record. However, the Blue & Gray are 2-1 against the Pirates in Washington D.C. Hoya fans will look to see if Ewing can right the ship on Saturday against a team that has given him trouble.

For continued coverage of the men’s basketball team and all Georgetown sports, follow @GUVoiceSports on Twitter.

Tristan Lee
Tristan is the Voice's sports executive and a senior in Georgetown College. He mostly covers Georgetown's football, basketball, and baseball teams.

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