Strong Pirate shooting leads upset of No. 8 Hoyas
Sitting squarely on the NCAA Tournament bubble, Seton Hall upset the No. 8 Georgetown Hoyas 73-55 at home Tuesday night. The win improves the Pirates’ record to 19-9 overall and 8-8 in the Big East.
Senior Jordan Theodore led all scorers with a career-high 29 points on 8-11 shooting, including 5-5 from beyond the arc. Theodore also outscored the Hoyas starters 29-24.
“The hoop was so wide tonight,” Theodore said. “It was like I was throwing the ball into the crowd. I hadn’t had a game like this in my career, and in a game like this was great.”
Georgetown was led by a team effort. Freshman Greg Whittington was the leading scorer with nine points, and three other players had eight each.
“I thought we did a good job of being patient on them and making them work a little bit,” head coach Kevin Willard said. “That’s one thing when you defend them, you’re going to work. I thought we did a really good job of making them work and taking 25 seconds on the shot clock.”
As a team, the Hall shot 61 percent from the field and 62 percent from 3-point land, the best a team has shot against John Thompson III in his eight years as Georgetown head coach.
“(Georgetown) contests every shot, and for us to just be able to knock those shots down was big,” Theodore said. “We just needed this win so bad.”
The Hoyas were held to 40 percent shooting. The Pirates also forced 11 turnovers.
With the game tied in the first half, 22-22, sophomore Fuquan Edwin hit a 3-pointer that gave the Hall the lead and started an 8-2 run by the Pirates, including a jumper from freshman Brandon Mobley.
Down 33-26 after a Theodore 3-pointer, the Hoyas got a layup from freshman Otto Porter with seven seconds left in the half to cut the lead to 33-28.
With the clock running down, Theodore took the ball and dribbled the length of the court and drew a foul on a layup attempt, giving him two shots at the line with one second left, making both.
“With seven seconds left, we had a timeout, but John (Thompson III) does a good job of changing defenses when you call a timeout,” Willard said. “You work on that in practice, get the ball in the hands, and let (Theodore) attack. If something opens, he kicks it; if not, he tries to get it.”
In the second half with the score 49-38, Theodore hit a 3-pointer to start another run by the Hall. This run, aided by a pair of inside baskets from Pope including two free throws, gave the Pirates an 18-point lead at 58-40 with 7:53 left in the game.
A tip in from freshman Mikael Hopkins cut the Hoyas’ deficit to 16 points with 3:56 left, but that was as close as Georgetown came to the Pirates.
Two free throws from Theodore and a steal leading to a layup by Edwin put the Pirates up 20 with 3:19 remaining, clinching the game for the Hall.
“The team is feeling good, motivated after a win like this,” Mobley said. “It’s our last home game, and we just want to leave the fans with a good feeling.”
Stephen Valenti can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.