NEWARK, N.J. — No. 13 Seton Hall overcame a slow start and turned defense into a 23-5 run which proved enough to dispatch Georgetown 74-61 at Prudential Center.
Seton Hall started slower than the gridlock Newark traffic pre-game as result of a warehouse fire near Newark Penn.
Georgetown used nine early second chance points via six offensive boards to frustrate their hosts and the fans before the Hall came alive.
A weakness of the Hoyas all year, three quick turnovers mid-way through the first half was all the Pirates needed to gain belief and get their own engine firing on all cylinders.
Powered by an inspired Myles Powell (19p, 5r, 6 steals) and Desi Rodriguez (19p, 5r), the Hall was able to clamp down defensively and dictate tempo in the open court to great effect.
After trailing 26-21 with eight to play, Seton Hall closed on a 23-5 run as Georgetown failed to score for the final 5:31 of the half.
Despite a quick opening salvo from the Hoyas to start the second half, Seton Hall (15-3, 4-1) was able to keep their guests at an 8-12-point distance for the entirety of the second half en route to their fourth Big East win of the year and fifth straight win over Georgetown for the first time ever; the Hoyas drop to 12-5 (2-4).
Myles Powell’s steal-and-slams in the first half summed this game up. Usually you’d gauge Powell’s effectiveness via made threes, but he was locked in defensively today and it showed — Seton Hall was able to create offense from his three first half steals and two first half blocks; the offense from defense got them rolling via 12 (mostly early) fast break points.
This game was won in the first half. After a back-and-forth affair, there weren’t many — if any — swings in the second half; the Hall held an 8-12-point lead for what seemed like the majority of the second half.
The atmosphere was fitting. It was a true “lower bowl sellout” at Prudential Center — even the box/club seats were filled to the brim. Add in the 1992-93 Big East title team honoring (PJ Carlesimo was teary eyed during the ceremony), which apparently inspired the 2017-18 team’s big first half run as it started just after they left the court, and it was a fine day all around at the Rock.