The Pirates came up short of upsetting their first ranked team of the season with a 80-75 loss to No. 23 Georgetown. The loss puts the Hall’s record at 8-11 and 2-5 in the Big East.
“We had them on the ropes at home,” senior Jeremy Hazell said. “A top 25 team in our building, it doesn’t get bigger than that.”
Senior Jeff Robinson led the Pirates with 21 points, with junior Jordan Theodore adding 17.
Georgetown’s senior Austin Freeman led all scorers with 28 points on 10-13 shooting.
In his first game at home since returning from a broken wrist, Hazell led the Pirates on a 19-2 run including a jumper with 14:18 remaining putting the Hall up 46-45.
During the run which lasted 7:21, Hazell led all Pirates with nine points.
The run was stopped when Georgetown senior Chris Wright hit a three, cutting the score to 52-48.
With the Hoyas down three, Robinson scored the next three baskets for the Hall including a jumper while being fouled. Robinson made the free throw making the score 73-69.
The game turned when junior Herb Pope fouled out of the game with 2:11 to go, finishing with 16 points and nine rebounds. The foul placed Freeman on the line, where he made both free throws pulling the Hoyas’ within two.
“Them losing Pope was a big blow,” Georgetown’s head coach John Thompson III said.
Theodore had a three point attempt go in and out with 1:47 remaining which led to a run out for Georgetown resulting in a lay-in for senior Julian Vaughn, tying the game at 73-73.
The Hoyas took the lead when Wright made the first of two free throws.
Senior Eniel Polynice missed a driving lay-up, turning into another run out for the Hoyas and sending Freeman to the line where he would make both free throws.
“I thought it was a good drive,” Willard said. “They switched big on little, I thought he got a clear path to the lane and just missed the lay-up.”
Down three, Theodore appeared to tie the game, but his foot was ruled on the three point line, leaving the Hall down one at 76-75.
“I really hoped it was a three,” Theodore said. “I looked down at my feet after and wished they were behind the line.”
Down three with six seconds left, senior Keon Lawrence was foulded with the Pirates’ in the bonus, and missed the front end of the one and one.
“If we had made some free throws late it would have been different,” Willard said. “We didn’t take advantage on the line.”
Wright put the game out of reach making his second pair of free throws in the final seconds.
The Pirates return to face in-state rival Rutgers at 12:00 p.m. on Saturday at home
Stephen Valenti can be reached at Stephen.firstname.lastname@example.org