On a slew of turnovers and miscues over the waning moments of the game, the Seton Hall men’s basketball team essentially saw its tournament hopes slip away in a 77-71 double-overtime loss to Georgetown on Saturday evening.
Kevin Willard fulfilled on his promise to change the starting lineup, inserting Shavar Reynolds and Romaro Gill in over Quincy McKnight and Michael Nzei.
Myles Powell scored eight points to open the match and kept the Pirates afloat during a back-and-forth beginning, but it became evident that Gill and Reynolds were off the touch coming out of the game’s first timeout.
Georgetown’s Josh LeBlanc was a beast from inside the paint, beating Gill to almost every board to end the first half with eight rebounds. Nzei and McKnight’s introductions slowed the bleeding midway through the first half, but James Akinjo was nuisance for Seton Hall to contain.
Akinjo ended the first half with seven points and two assists and would have been the star of the show had it not been for Powell’s clinical finishing.
The Pirates’ talisman was everywhere in the first half, draining three-pointers and driving into the lane to keep his team alive. Powell went 7-for-11 from the field to finish the first half with 17 points.
Georgetown struggled to find the net in the first half, going into a dry spell that lasted over six minutes and saw it go 1-for-15 from the field. Jessie Govan’s offensive efficiency was nowhere to be found for the first 20 minutes, and he did not have a single point until the start of the second half.
Early turnovers hurt the Pirates again in the second half, though, as Georgetown pulled level with Seton Hall after six minutes. Mac McClung and LeBlanc slowly found their groove in this half following the Pirates’ formation change on defense.
Jared Rhoden had himself a mostly confident night, delivering points and coming up with rebounds at slow points in the match for the Pirates. On a night where Willard was looking for changes that influenced the game for his team, Rhoden made a strong case to get a few more minutes in the final two matches of Big East play.
In the final minute-and-a-half, McKnight turned the ball over for Seton Hall’s 14th turnover of the match and gifted LeBlanc with the opportunity to dunk his side back into the lead. Georgetown seemed in control of the match until a play drawn up by Willard ended in Nzei dropping a life line basket to send the match into overtime.
Nzei starred for the Pirates during overtime with strong plays on both sides of the court until he was fouled out. Akanji continued to pester away at Seton Hall with smart drives to the rim. Another late basket for Seton Hall, this time by Jared Rhoden, sent the game into double over time in an NCAA Tournament spot deciding match.
Rhoden’s two missed free throws and a turnover under no pressure, however, saw the Pirates slip at the very end.
Seton Hall returns to action on Wednesday when they host Marquette in its second-to-last fixture of Big East play.
Justin Sousa can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org or on Twitter @Sousa7474.