Pirates look for season sweep against Georgetown
The men’s basketball team looks to snap a three-game losing streak when it hosts the Georgetown Hoyas on Thursday night in a rematch of a game played in mid-January that resulted in a Pirates’ victory. A win would give the Pirates a sweep of the Hoyas this season, something the Pirates have not done in 11 years.
The teams’ last matchup was the first time Seton Hall defeated Georgetown on the road since the 2002-03 season. The Hall outscored the Hoyas 41-22 in the second half to erase a nine-point deficit at the break and come away with a 67-57 win.
Senior wingman Fuquan Edwin was crucial in the contest, scoring 19 of his game-high 24 points in the second half. Sophomore Sterling Gibbs scored 11 points and dished out 9 assists in the victory.
Both teams are coming off losses to conference rival St John’s as the Red Storm ended the Hoyas’ four-game winning streak on Sunday. Edwin had a game-high 25 points and 6 rebounds, and junior Patrik Auda shot 7-of-10 from the field and finished with 15 points.
“We knew that we had to bring it for all 40 minutes,” Auda said about the game against St. John’s. “And I think we did everything to win the game, but it just slipped toward the end.”
The Pirates look to rebound from their second one-point loss at the hands of St. John’s by playing at full strength. Seniors Eugene Teague and Brian Oliver did not play in the Pirates’ last game because of a coach’s decision.
Teague, who is among the rebounding leaders in the Big East, has been quiet recently but could add a spark for the Pirates by improving the team’s offensive rebounding, which is last in the Big East. Rebounding was key in the victory against the Hoyas last time when the Pirates pulled down 39 boards, the highest total in conference play for Seton Hall this year.
Oliver has been a sharpshooter for Seton Hall this season, leading the Big East in 3-pointers per game, and is second to Creighton’s Doug McDermott in 3-point shooting percentage.
Junior Brandon Mobley has put together a consistent season, coming off the bench to contribute 213 points, 116 rebounds and 27 blocks in all 25 games this season. When he’s not battling an injury, Auda has played hard this season and currently has 173 points and 85 rebounds.
The Hoyas are led by guards D’Vauntes Smith-Rivera and Markel Starks, who lead their team in points, assists, three-point shooting and free-throw shooting. Smith-Rivera is the leading scorer on the squad and averages 17 points per game, and Starks is right behind him, averaging 16.6 points per game. Smith-Rivera and Starks are fourth and fifth, respectively, in Big East scoring this year.
Seton Hall is just 1-5 in conference games played at home this season and has lost its previous three home contests.
“We haven’t played good at home lately, so it’s extremely important for us to come out strong and get this win against Georgetown,” junior Haralds Karlis said. “We have to stay solid and be the tougher team out there.”
Georgetown leads the all-time series with Seton Hall, 54-42.
The Pirates will battle the Hoyas at 9 p.m. on Thursday at the Prudential Center in Newark, N.J.
Mike Romano can be reached at email@example.com.