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Seton Hall Basketball: Final - Georgetown 80, Seton Hall 75 - Pirates Four Blunders Give Game to Hoyas

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Seton Hall overcame a 9-point second half deficit by rattling off a 19-2 run that saw them lead the Hoyas by 7 with 12 minutes left in the game.  They were able to hold the lead much of the second half and had a 7-point lead with 7 minutes to go and a 4-point cushion when Herb Pope fouled out with 2:10 remaining.  Once Pope left the floor, things fell apart as Georgetown attacked the lanes and drew fouls on nearly every possession.  Georgetown hit 9-of-10 FT attempts to close out the Pirates while Seton Hall struggled to accomplish anything on their offensive possessions.  The Hoyas narrowly escaped their second consecutive loss at the Rock, but it wasn't without some help from the home team. Let's look at four blunders down the stretch that may have cost the Pirates Kevin Willard's first marquee win.  

1)  Herb Pope picks up his 4th personal foul with 4:15 remaining in the game and Seton Hall nursing a five-point lead, yet Kevin Willard decides to leave Herb in the game.   Aaron Geramipoor has to enter the game for Pope in that situation.  He didn't do a bad job stepping in for him at the end of the first half and I'm fairly positive I saw Aaron record a block, yet the official box score didn't credit him with one.  If Willard didn't trust AG in that situation, he's got to roll with EP and JRob at the five, a lineup he was forced to go to after Pope fouled out anyways.  Even if the Hoyas were able to erase the five-point lead with Pope out of the game, the Pirates would have been able to get Pope back in the game with 2 minutes to go in a tie game.  

2) With the Pirates trailing 74-73 and 30-seconds remaining, EP was handling the ball at the top of the key looking to setup the offense.  For whatever reason, Chris Wright was switched defensively onto Jeff Robinson and JRob was posting the undersized Wright calling for the entry pass from Eniel Polynice.  Instead of finding the mismatch, Polynice decided to drive and attempt his typical wild-layup, no good.  How is Robinson not fed the ball to take advantage of that mismatch? 

3) With 11-seconds remaining and the Pirates trailing by 3, Jeff Robinson pulled down an offensive rebound and found Jordan Theodore in the corner for what appeared to be a 3-point game-tying attempt.  JT received the pass, seemed to step backward behind the line and calmly drilled the shot from the corner.  There was one little problem with that. Jordan Theodore didn't step back far enough as his foot was on the line and his jumper was good for just two points.  Theodore has to be more aware in that situation and get his feet behind the line.  There's no excuse for that mishap.  

4) With 1 minute remaining and tied at 73, Seton Hall failed to get Jeremy Hazell one-touch.  The Pirates didn't put the ball in their best offensive player's hands in their final four possessions.  Willard called two timeouts in the final minute, there needs to be a play drawn up to get Jeremy a touch.  Or two.  

-Austin Freeman was unconscious for nearly the entire night.  If you were to tell me before the game that he'd have 28PTS on 10-of-13 shooting and the Pirates would have a lead late in the game, there's no way I would believe it. Freeman wasn't even the whole story for the Hoyas tonight as he had a ton of help as Vaughn had 11PTS/6REB, Wright had 17PTS/6REB/6AST and Hollis Thompson dropped 14PTS in all around balanced attack from Georgetown.

-Jeff Robinson and Herb Pope were outstanding in tonight's loss.  Jeff Robinson put up 21PTS/7REB while shooting an extremely efficient 9-of-13 from the floor, shots (other than 2 3PT attempts) that came from mid-range and closer.  His game around the rim is simply exceptional.  For a team that struggles to make layups and bunnies, there's very little worry when Robinson has possession near the tin.  Herb Pope dropped 16PTS/9REB on 7-of-11 shooting before fouling out with 2 minutes to go.  Pope continues to improve as we move through the conference schedule and if he keeps playing this well, my early prediction of him 100% returning next year is beginning to lose percentage points.  I might be willing to drop that down to 85% right now.  At the end of the season, coupled with what Seton Hall is returning, it might be 50% or less.  

-Not accounting for his late-game blunder, Jordan Theodore might have put forth his most complete game of the season tonight.  With a stat-line of 17PTS/6AST/4REB and most importantly, 0 turnovers, he showed a glimpse of what we were expecting him to contribute all season long.  Although this season seems to be written-off,  his performance tonight is at least encouraging for Theodore's confidence moving forward, considering Keon Lawrence started to get extended looks at PG over the last few games.  

-Jeremy Hazell was just 5-of-16 from the floor and an awful 1-of-7 from long distance to finish with 15PTs.  Yet, as bad as his shooting night was, he still needs the ball late in the game.  Need evidence?  West Virginia at the Rock, last year.

And so much for seeing what the freshman Patrik Auda is made of this year.  Kevin Willard just announced that his turf-toe will have him sidelined until March.  Excellent.