In a back-and-forth battle between two teams with NCAA tournament aspirations, the Georgetown men’s basketball team fell 68-66 in overtime to the Seton Hall Pirates (14-8, 4-6 Big East).
After a hard-fought game, Georgetown (13-11, 4-7 Big East) failed to execute in the final minutes. In the closing seconds, sophomore forward Marcus Derrickson grabbed a missed free throw and passed to junior guard L.J. Peak, who could not get a shot off before the final buzzer. Peak finished with 18 points, five rebounds and seven assists in 38 minutes, carrying the Hoyas despite playing almost the entire game in foul trouble.
“Now I think of him as almost a point guard now because of the way he gets other guys shots. The way he carries himself on the court, the way he talks to his teammates, he looks and acts like a leader. He plays like a leader and has developed into a really good high level guard,” said Seton Hall Head Coach Kevin Willard of Peak.
Georgetown, previously a winner of three straight games, conceded early to Seton Hall, who had dropped its last two games. The Hoyas shot 1-of-8 from the floor to start while the Pirates jumped to a 16-4 lead, shooting over 50 percent.
Peak made two buckets to try to cut into the deficit, but Georgetown’s defensive breakdowns kept the Pirates up by 10. Soon after, graduate student guard Rodney Pryor, scoreless for 14 minutes, helped cut the deficit to one by scoring five points. Derrickson later went to the line and put Georgetown back in front with 3:49 left in the half, but Seton Hall stormed back and went into the locker room with a 36-32 lead.
Junior forward Akoy Agau scored six points in the first half, contributing to Georgetown’s success. He played 29 minutes off the bench, recording 11 rebounds and five blocks.
Seton Hall held a slight edge to start the second half, but later started to trade buckets with Georgetown, who regained the lead at 48-47 with Pryor’s driving layup. Afterward, the lead changed hands many times, but Seton Hall junior forward Angel Delgado regained control for the Pirates.
Delgado finished with 26 points and 17 rebounds, proving too tough for the Hoyas’ defense, which struggled to contain him in the paint. Delgado’s 12-of-5 free-throw performance prevented Georgetown from taking a big lead and got the Hoya big men in foul trouble.
“He’s good, he’s persistent. We were doubling him and he passes out of it, he’s poised down there. He plays with a relentlessness that makes him good,” said Georgetown Head Coach John Thompson III of Delgado.
At the end of regulation, Peak made a jump shot to put the Hoyas up two, but junior guard Khadeen Carrington’s layup tied the game at 63, which remained the score going into overtime.
Georgetown struggled to get anything going from the three-point line in the game. The team shot 1-of-19 from behind the arc, its worst performance of the season.
“We got a little lucky on Rodney, we tried to shade him as much as we could, other than that, they just weren’t making shots,” Willard said.
After a scoreless first two minutes of extra time, Derrickson made one free throw to put Georgetown up one, but Delgado responded again. The Hoyas regained possession down one with 1:31 left, converting their chance on Pryor’s long jump shot.
However, Seton Hall found a response in junior forward Desi Rodriguez. Despite averaging 18.3 points in Big East games and only scoring nine on 4-of-18 shooting, Rodriguez came up when it mattered most and made the game-winning layup in the final 15 seconds.
After not calling a timeout, the Hoyas gave the ball to Rodney Pryor with a chance to tie the game under 10 seconds to play, but he turned the ball over, sealing the Pirates’ crucial conference win.
“We just needed a stop at the end — one thing we were kind of struggling with all game. … We were right there but there are just a couple of things that we did wrong at the end that cost us the game.” Agau said.
After the loss, Georgetown will travel to face No. 4 Villanova (21-2, 8-2 Big East) on Tuesday, looking to upset the Wildcats and start a late-season push for the NCAA tournament.
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