Charles Nailen/The Hoya The Hoyas posted a season-low 54 points during their loss Wednesday.

EAST RUTHERFORD, N.J. – With home games against West Virginia, St. John’s and Rutgers and an away game against Seton Hall to open its Big East schedule, a 4-0 start in league play appeared to be a good possibility for Georgetown’s men’s basketball team. After two games, however, the Hoyas are fortunate not to be 0-2.

The Hoyas were able to escape with an overtime victory over the ountaineers on Sunday, but they would have no such luck when they traveled to meet struggling Seton Hall Tuesday night. Playing their worst basketball of the season, the Hoyas never found any sort of rhythm and were dealt a 68-54 defeat by the Pirates before a crowd of 7,114 at Continental Airlines Arena.

Seton Hall (6-7, 1-3) was led by their solid backcourt of junior point guard Andre Barrett and sophomore shooting guard John Allen. The duo gave Georgetown (9-3, 1-1) headaches all evening. Barrett played all 40 minutes Tuesday, scoring 16 points and dishing out five assists. Allen was even better, leading all scorers with 27 points on 8-13 shooting. He also pulled down eight rebounds and sank all 10 of his free-throw attempts.

“I thought we got off to a real bad start in the first half,” Georgetown Head Coach Craig Esherick said. “Allen hurt us. He got some big rebounds. When we had a chance to cut the lead to seven or five, he would make a play.”

Georgetown’s standout junior forward Mike Sweetney was solid against the Pirates. With scouts from six NBA teams looking on, Sweetney scored a team-high 22 points on 8-17 shooting and grabbed nine rebounds.

Seton Hall, however, was able to keep Sweetney from taking over the game as he did on Sunday, when he dumped in 35 points and pulled down 19 rebounds against West Virginia. Seton Hall freshman forward Kelly Whitney, with help from senior forward Greg Morton, played tough defense against the All-American, limiting Sweetney to only seven first-half points as the Pirates built a 39-26 lead going into the half.

“I give Kelly Whitney credit,” Seton Hall Head Coach Louis Orr said. “We tried to keep [Sweetney] from getting the ball too close to the basket.”

While Sweetney’s performance was up to his usual standards, he received almost no help from his teammates. Georgetown’s second leading scorer Tuesday was senior forward Victor Samnick, who is known primarily for his defensive play. Samnick scored 11 points. No other Hoya scored in double figures.

Georgetown’s two top perimeter threats, junior guard/forward Gerald Riley and sophomore guard Tony Bethel, were non-factors in the game. Riley fouled out with four points, shooting 1-6 from the floor. Bethel was equally ineffective, scoring one point while shooting 1-9 from the floor. As a team, the Hoyas were unable to provide any offense from the perimeter that could have taken some of the pressure off of Sweetney in the post.

Overall, the Hoyas shot 32.2 percent from the floor. Without Sweetney’s 8-17 performance the rest of the team made only 11-42 field goal attempts all game, while the Pirates shot 49 percent from the floor. From three-point range, Georgetown was abysmal, making only two of 20 attempts.

“We did a pretty good job of getting the ball down to Mike [Sweetney] most of the game,” Esherick said. “But guys that I know are good shooters, guys that I’d want to shoot the ball again, they didn’t knock down their shots. We couldn’t take advantage of Seton Hall double- or triple-teaming [Sweetney] because we couldn’t knock down our shots.”

The play of senior center Wesley Wilson, who many Hoya fans hoped could be a major force this season, continues to be a mystery. After going scoreless in only two minutes of action against West Virginia, Wilson scored just one point in 10 minutes of action Tuesday.

Esherick however, remains confident that Wilson will find his game again. “He’s a college student and he has days like this. Wesley will be fine.”

Esherick made national headlines during Sunday’s post-game press conference when he blasted the officials for allowing opposing teams to continually hack Sweetney without fouls being called. On Tuesday though, he could find no fault with the referees.

“I thought the officials were very good today,” Esherick said. “They didn’t cause us to shoot 2-20 from three-point range. They didn’t cause us to travel every other time down the court in the first half.”

Georgetown returns to the court tomorrow when they play host to St. John’s at MCI Center. Tip-off is at noon.

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