Junior Tray Jackson scored 21 points and 6 rebounds in a bounce-back 68-63 win over Georgetown on Tuesday night.
Coming off two straight losses and dropping four of their last five, the Pirates came into Washington D.C. on Tuesday needing a win. After entering Big East play with a 9-1 record, head coach Kevin Willard's squad has started conference play at 3-6, dropping their near-perfect record to 12-7.
They had a perfect opportunity to stay afloat in the Big East standings with a win against a weak, 6-13 (0-7) Hoya team.
With graduate guard Bryce Aiken still in COVID protocol, sophomore Kadary Richmond would be forced to bear the load again as the Pirates were without their best ball-handler.
It would be hard to assume that based off their performance, considering Seton Hall finally got off to a quick start after having horrible first halves as of late.
Senior guard Jared Rhoden led the way in the first half, scoring 10 points and coming down with 4 rebounds, followed by Jackson's 8 points and Richmond's 7.
Despite a circus, buzzer-beating three-pointer by the Hoyas' Kaiden Rice, the Pirates went into halftime with 7-point lead and lots of momentum.
The momentum seemed to be lost once the second-half started, however, as at just under the 9-minute mark in the half, the Hoyas took the lead and were up by 5.
That was as big as the Pirates would allow it to get, as Jackson, Richmond, and senior center Ike Obiagu began to take over.
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Jackson shot 4-6 from the floor and 3-5 from behind the arc to drop another 13 points in the half, bringing his total to a game and career-high 21 points along with 7 rebounds.
Richmond showed off what the Pirates miss with Aiken on the floor, as he scored 5 points, dished 5 assists and came down with 6 rebounds in just the second half. He finished with 12 points, 7 assists, and 8 rebounds for the night.
Obiagu changed the game just with his presence, affecting countless Georgetown attempts inside and ending the game with 5 blocks.
A well-rounded performance from the Pirates against a weak opponent might be just what they need to get back into the swing of things, as they have not been the same since their 17-day COVID pause in December.
A tough upcoming stretch will not make that easy, though. The Pirates' next four games are against a scorching hot Creighton, No. 21 Xavier, at No. 12 Villanova, and at No. 17 UCONN.