SOUTH ORANGE, NJ – There haven’t been many games that meant more to the Seton Hall Pirates in the last six years.
Facing an uphill battle to the NCAA Tournament, the Pirates upset No. 9 Georgetown, 73-55, on Tuesday night at Prudential Center. This is the second Associated Press Top 10 win for the Pirates at Prudential Center this year.
Senior Jordan Theodore had a career-high 29 points, on 8 of 11 shooting, including a perfect 5-5 from the 3-point range.
“He (Jordan Theodore) played fantastic,” head coach Kevin Willard said. “That is probably the most complete game a point guard has played all year in the league. From points, to assists, to defense, to running the team, he just played fantastic.”
After the teams exchanged trips to the free throw line, Hoya guard Hollis Thompson hit a 3-pointer to pull Georgetown within one, 10-9. Pope answered with a layup to give Seton Hall a 12-9 lead.
Then after Greg Whittington countered with layup, the Pirates took a 15-11 lead when sophomore Fuquan Edwin hit a three pointer. Georgetown answered when freshman guard Jabril Trawick hit a right-corner 3-pointer to give Georgetown a one-point lead, but Seton Hall responded with a 7-0 run.
Freshman Brandon Mobley answered seven seconds later when he hit a slam dunk off an assist from Edwin. He followed the dunk with a layup off an assist from freshman Freddie Wilson. Theodore capped the sequence with a left wing three of his own to give Seton Hall a 22-16 lead.
“Brandon (Mobley) and Patrik (Auda) played tremendous,” Willard said. “When both of those guys are playing that way, Brandon scored the ball well and Patrik defended tremendously, they give us an added punch that’s hard to defend because we try to space them out a little bit.”
Mobley finished with 10 points and three rebounds, while Auda contributed seven points and five boards.
The Hoyas followed with a 6-0 run to tie the game, but Edwin hit a three to regain the lead, 25-22, with five minutes remaining in the first half. After the teams exchanged baskets for the next two minutes, Theodore stretched the lead for the Pirates in the final 90 seconds. He hit a 3-pointer with 1:23 remaining in the period.
After Hoya forward Otto Porter made a layup with second seconds left, Theodore rushed down the floor and drew a foul with two seconds left in the half. He hit both free throws and gave Seton Hall the 35-28 lead going into halftime.
“With seven seconds left, we had a timeout, but John (Thompson III) does a good job of changing defenses when you call timeout,” Willard said. “You work on that in practice, get the ball in his hands and let him attack and if there is something open he kicks it; if not, he tries to get it.”
The Pirates started the second half on a 10-5 run to take a 12-point lead. Freshman Aaron Cosby had five points in the first three minutes of the half, while Theodore also contributed a 3-pointer, and the Pirates took a 45-33 lead. Seton Hall held the double-digit lead for the remainder of the game.
The Hall took a 20-point lead in the final four minutes when Edwin nailed a layup after Theodore hit two free throws. Auda gave the Hall a 22-point lead with a layup from a Wilson pass with 1:17 remaining to make the score 73-51.
The Pirates shot 61 percent from the floor, their second straight home game shooting above 60 percent. They held the Hoyas to 40 percent from floor, only allowing them 19 baskets the entire game.
“I thought we did a good job of being patient on them and making them work a little bit,” Willard said. “That’s one thing, when you defend them, you’re going to work. They’re going to cut you, they’re going to screen you. I thought we did a really good job of making them work and taking 25 seconds on the shot clock.”
The Pirates return to the floor on Saturday for senior night at Prudential Center. Seton Hall will honor Pope, Theodore and Pete Dill.
Tipoff is scheduled for 5 p.m.
Timothy LeCras is participating in a hyperlocal journalism partnership between The Alternative Press and Seton Hall University's Department of Communication & The Arts designed to give students real-world experience.