On an 80s-themed Saturday night in Newark complete with throwback music, retro jerseys and a crowd of more than 9,000 fans, Seton Hall beat Georgetown, 69-61, in a classic Big East matchup.
The win moves Seton Hall into sole possession of third place in the Big East with a record of 17-6, 7-4.
The Hoyas hung tight with Seton Hall throughout the physical contest, but never led after the 15:38 mark in the second half. Both teams shot less than 40 percent from the floor, but a brick-wall defensive effort from the Pirates gave them the edge. Ismael Sanogo had three blocks and two steals while Derrick Gordon picked up another two takeaways and a couple of key charges.
Georgetown fell victim to the Pirate lockdown, committing 15 turnovers. Seton Hall scored on 12 of those. The Hoyas also proved not mighty enough in the paint, getting outscored down low 34-22.
“Every time we get a stop, we say we gotta get another one,” Angel Delgado said.
Delgado dominated on the offensive side, scoring 19 points while snatching 13 rebounds.
“I tell the guards, ‘Keep shooting, cause I’ll get it,” Delgado said, referring to his rebounding prowess.
“Physically, he’s become a man,” head coach Kevin Willard said of Delgado. “He’s gotten stronger. He’s working in the weight room.”
Sanogo hauled in another 11 boards of his own while Isaiah Whitehead added 16 points. The point guard struggled from the field all night, going 3-15, but nailed a clutch three-pointer in the late going that allowed SHU to hold its edge.
Isaac Copeland had a big night for Georgetown, tallying 18 points and nine rebounds. L.J. Peak also had 17 and eight, but it was not enough in the down to the wire contest.
Seton Hall will take on Butler next when the Bulldogs come to Newark on Wednesday, Feb. 10. Tip is set for 6:30 p.m.
By that time, a new AP Top-25 Poll will be out. It is possible the Pirates make an appearance, but Gordon said things will go as they should so long as SHU takes care of business.
“We still have a lot of games left that we can get a better seed than that,” Gordon said, acknowledging that ESPN’s Joe Lunardi has the Hall in the NCAA Tournament as an 11-seed. “I know for a fact that we’re definitely on a stretch of winning 20+ games, so that’s all we’re worrying about. We’ll let them take care of the rest.”
Gary Phillips can be reached at email@example.com or on Twitter @GaryHPhillips.