On Wednesday night in Washington, D.C., the Seton Hall men’s basketball team gutted out one of its ugliest, grittiest victories of the year. The 72-64 triumph over Georgetown gave the Pirates their ninth Big East win of 2015-16.
Isaiah Whitehead continued to play like an NBA-caliber point guard. The sophomore totaled 22 points on 6-of-13 shooting to go along with five assists, three rebounds and a pair of thunderous blocks. Seton Hall’s top dog shouldered the offensive load down the stretch, even when it grinded to a halt.
After leading by as many as 15 points, 51-36, with about 13 minutes to go in the second half, SHU allowed the Hoyas to stay alive. A three-ball from Whitehead at the 14:10-mark was Seton Hall’s final field goal of the entire game.
Somehow, the team went 15 minutes without a live bucket – and still pulled out the win. The Pirates’ final 21 points of the night came at the free-throw line.
Khadeen Carrington (18) and Desi Rodriguez (17) combined for 35 points to flank Whitehead. Aside from those three, scoring was scarce. Angel Delgado, typically a sure bet for a double-double, finished with an uncharacteristic six points, but a very characteristic 11 rebounds.
Georgetown freshman Jessie Govan erupted for a season-high 27 points on 10-of-13 shooting. The 6-foot-10-inch New York native nailed four of his five attempts from distance. Govan entered the night averaging 6.7 points a game.
Wednesday’s road victory moves Seton Hall one game closer to the 10-win conference mark that analysts predict will land the team in the NCAA Tournament next month. It was also head coach Kevin Willard’s 100th victory with the Blue and White.
Next on the slate is a Sunday showdown at Madison Square Garden with St. John’s. The Red Storm have been a colossal mess this year, but the team notched its first conference win against DePaul on Wednesday.
This has the makings of a trap game for Seton Hall. With the Pirates flirting with the Tourney, St. John’s will be looking to play spoiler at 12 p.m.
Tom Duffy can be reached at Thomas.email@example.com or on Twitter @TJDHoops.