Charles Nailen/The Hoya Georgetown succumbed to Seton Hall for the second time this season in overtime.

In an MCI Center locker room filled with a palpable air of dejection Wednesday night, the Georgetown men’s basketball team was short on answers and long on problems. The Hoyas’ 93-82 overtime loss to Seton Hall, their second to the Pirates this season, left Georgetown’s postseason hopes in jeopardy.

“We are really against the wall now,” junior guard Gerald Riley said after the game.

Georgetown (10-6, 2-4) is now fifth in the West Division of the Big East with 11 games left on its schedule, including two against No. 11 Notre Dame, two against No. 24 Syracuse and one against No. 2 Pittsburgh. The Hoyas’ RPI ranking has fallen to 92, and they are facing a three-game stretch that includes games at Notre Dame and Syracuse and a home contest against UCLA in the span of a week.

Head Coach Craig Esherick held a very brief press conference after spending a longer than usual time in the locker room, and his displeasure was clear.

“We’ve got to figure out who we have on our team that wants to win, and those people that want to win and want to work to win are going to play. Those people that want to make excuses and don’t want to win are not going to play,” he said. He took no questions following his statement.

The Hoyas’ performance included, as junior forward Mike Sweetney put it, “a bunch of mistakes.”

With 9:50 left in regulation, a Sweetney layup put Georgetown up for the first time since the beginning of the game. But at the 5:59 mark, Sweetney was called for his fourth personal foul. Esherick left him in the game, and before time could stop again, Sweetney had been called for his fifth.

He finished with his 29th career double-double (20 points, 12 rebounds).

The score was tied at 69 when a second Hoya big man, senior Wesley Wilson, got his fifth foul and joined Sweetney on the bench. After an and-one play by Bethel and three points scored by Seton Hall, the score was tied again at 72 when a jump ball resulted in a possession for Seton Hall with 7.2 seconds left but only two on the shot clock. Georgetown called a timeout.

When the timeout was over, Seton Hall set up for an inbounds play under their basket. However, a tape first aired on ESPN’s SportsCenter showed that Seton Hall, in fact, had six players in the game. But this violation went unnoticed by the referees, coaching staffs and surely most, if not all, of the 7,242 in attendance, as the Pirates executed an easy alley-oop dunk to go up by two.

Esherick has since seen the tape and has no comment on it.

After the basket, Riley took the ball the length of the court and made a layup to force the contest into overtime.

The Hoyas scored on their first two possessions in the extra period, but so did the Pirates. With 2:22 to go, Seton Hall’s Andre Barrett hit a three-pointer, and then turned a Drew Hall turnover into a layup to put the Pirates up five. Riley tried to counter with a three-pointer, but his was no good, and senior forward Courtland Freeman followed that play by fouling the Pirates’ senior forward Greg Morton. His made free throws put Seton Hall up by seven and the game out of reach for Georgetown.

“I respect [Georgetown’s] guards. I thought Tony Bethel made big plays. In the second half, I thought he was the guy. He drove to the basket and got and-ones,” Seton Hall Head Coach Louis Orr said. Bethel led the scoring charge for the Hoyas with a career-high 22 points.

Georgetown’s first half was marked by an almost non-existent transition defense. While the Hoyas were taking long jumpers and failing to connect (they shot 33 percent from the floor), Seton Hall was fast-breaking to uncontested layups. In the first half, The Pirates had 10 fast break points to the Hoyas’ 4 and 24 points in the paint to the Hoyas’ 12. Some of the points in the paint also came on drives by Seton Hall’s quick guards, Barrett and John Allen, who combined for 39 points in the game.

Georgetown was down 35-23 with just under five minutes to go in the first half when the Hoyas started chipping away at the Pirate lead. Made free throws by Sweetney, an and-one play by senior forward Victor Samnick, a jumper by Riley and a three-pointer by sophomore guard Tony Bethel got the Hoyas within five at the break.

The Hoyas travel to South Bend, Ind. for the first of two meetings with Notre Dame (17-3, 5-1) tomorrow. On Monday, they will face Syracuse (13-3, 4-2) at the Carrier Dome.

Esherick noted after Wednesday’s loss that “the season is not over. We’re 2-4 [in the Big East]. We’ve dug ourselves a hole that we’ve got to get out of. Talking about it is not going to help us get out of the hole that we’ve dug.”

Sweetney also expressed confidence that the Hoyas will bounce back. “We’ve got to dig deep. People are counting us out, but I’ve got faith in the team. We can do it. We’ve just got to dig deep,” he said.

Tip off against the Fighting Irish is at noon on Saturday, and against the Orangemen at 7 p.m. on Monday. The Syracuse game will be televised on ESPN.

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