With a week off to game plan for a Georgetown team on the NCAA bubble, Kevin Willard and his Seton Hall team must have pulled all the right strings at Walsh Gym on their South Orange, N.J. campus. Picking up where they left off in their first meeting in D.C., where the Pirates scored 41 second half points en route to a 67-57 win, Seton Hall (14-12, 5-8) torched the Hoyas (15-11, 6-8) for 37 first half points and 45 after the break in a 82-67 romp at Prudential Center. The win marked Seton Hall's first regular season sweep of Georgetown since the 2002-03 season.
Canarias Basketball Academy products Aaron Geramipoor (6 pts, 2 rebs) and Haralds Karlis (4 pts, 3 rebs) started in place of the reinstated Gene Teague (12 pts, 7 rebs, 22 mins), and Brian Oliver (3 pts, 1-2 fg), respectively, who both returned from 1-game suspensions. The continued roster shakeup from Seton Hall head coach Kevin Willard paid off for the second straight game, but more importantly resulted in a win for the first time. Karlis and Geramipoor made impacts early, with both heavily involved in most of Seton Hall's first ten possessions.
Karlis' unselfishness and direct ball movement and Geramipoor's anchoring presence in the paint was supplemented by Fuquan Edwin's game-high 21 points, most of which came from Jaren Sina (10 pts, 4 asts) passes in transition, a combination that was absolutely lethal all night. Sina started at point guard with Sterling Gibbs (18 pts, 7 asts) joining in off the bench to combine for a game-changing 28 points, 11 assists, and just 1 turnover on the night. Sina and Gibbs spearheaded an attack that finished the night with a 74% assist rate, 1.28 points per possession, 14% turnover rate, and above average shooting percentages across the board (59% 2pt, 47% 3pt, 74% ft).
Seton Hall's high octane offensive performance fired on all cylinders and powered the Pirates to a 33-24 lead at the under-4 media timeout. Gene Teague checked in at the under-16 timeout and featured heavily, while Brian Oliver entered the game shortly after and played unselfish ball, not attempting a field goal (outside of a mandatory three-ball at the first half buzzer), until drilling an important three-pointer from the near corner after the under-12 timeout in the second half. The two shot attempts were Oliver's only two on the night -- he was officially credited with just one.
Despite how well Seton Hall played for the first 16 minutes, the Pirates found themselves in what seemed to be yet another mid-game drought that sandwiched the halftime break. After assisting on 12 of their first 14 field goals leading into the under-4 timeout, Seton Hall turned the ball over on five of their next eight possessions, with Fuquan Edwin making one of a trio of attempted three-pointers on the other three possessions.
Sterling Gibbs took the reins of a stuttering Seton Hall offense on five of the home team's next six possessions, four of which were runaway-train-like drives in transition that resulted in an 8-0 Seton Hall run, subsequently erasing a worrying Georgetown surge that had cut the Pirates' lead to 37-34.
Unlike previous games, this perfectly timed counterpunch proved crucial in staving off a NCAA-hopeful Hoya attack, the visitors' deficit would remain in the double digits for the remainder of a third straight half of Seton Hall dominating Georgetown. Capping off the night was the third head of an emerging CBA dragon, Patrik Auda (8 pts, 6 rebs, 3 asts), who took flight with a thunderous jam after splitting four Georgetown defenders in transition to make the game 65-52 just after a John Thompson III timeout. Auda followed his own act by scoring a tough layup on Seton Hall's next trip up the court and was fouled in the process. The Pirate lead would remain at 14-plus points for the remaining six minutes of truly fun basketball for a Seton Hall team that hasn't had much of it over the course of their season.