NEWARK — It was far from pretty, but Seton Hall nipped Georgetown 62-59 in another must-have by way of a 13-5 run to close the game, 27 points from Desi Rodriguez, and several milestones from Angel Delgado (12 pts, 13 rebs).
Both sides got off to quick starts as Delgado was unstoppable on the offensive end but several Pirates defensive lapses left Kevin Willard slapping his endless supply of gum off the scorers’ table.
The middle of the half turned unsurprisingly grueling before an unfathomable turnaround jumper from Rashed Anthony gave Seton Hall a 22-21 lead and apparently sparked a strong finish to the half from the hosts.
Despite missing the front-end of three one-and-ones, the Hall rode a 14-5 run to finish the second half that featured a handful of little players that went their way, evident in the 21-10 first half rebounding advantage.
Leading 38-30 at the break, it was a Georgetown team which had most of its bench standing for the second half that set the tone with an 11-4 run that brought them within a point during a three-minute Seton Hall drought.
Then a 10-2 Hoyas run that saw Delgado set a single-season Big East record with his 232nd board gave the Hoyas a 54-49 lead at the under-eight, leaving Seton Hall with it all to do.
Sensing the situation, the moderate Seton Hall crowd became engaged as Desi Rodriguez put the team on his broad shoulders to tie the game at 56 after a big-time and-one.
Delgado would then set another record by reeling in his 13th rebound which was also his career 1000th and 598th in Big East play, pushing him past Patrick Ewing into sixth-place.
Trailing 57-56 at the final media break, it appeared that the game boiled down to a case of who wanted a win less.
Despite hitting a handful of tough shots throughout the game, Georgetown wing LJ Peak committed a series of errors down the stretch by fouling Rodriguez on a long three-pointer with three seconds on the shot clock before losing the ball at the top of the key when he slipped on the Hoyas’ ensuing possession.
Trailing 59-58 after Peak’s slip-ups, Delgado scored after a lay-in from the low block just prior to a loose ball on the ensuing possession that originally fell out of Peak’s hands and then out of Seton Hall’s hands only for them to eventually scoop it up.
Khadeen Carrington (8 pts, 3 rebs, 3 asts) would sink a pair of free-throws to ensure the Hall would not lose in regulation but Georgetown made sure of that by barely hitting the backboard on their final possession.
Now sitting at 19-10 (9-8), Seton Hall can lock up an NCAA bid by winning at Butler; they will likely lock up at least a six-seed in the Big East Tournament, though that situation is ever-fluid.