It was ugly. It was nerve-wracking. It was a struggle. It was symbolic of Seton Hall’s topsy-turvy season, which also meant it was success.
The Pirates blew a 10-point lead against Georgetown Tuesday night in a must-have game for their NCAA Tournament hopes, and trailed by as many as five in the final minutes. But coach Kevin Willard’s team found a way, as it so often has lately, prevailing 62-59 at Prudential Center for its sixth win in the past eight games. With the win, Seton Hall took another step to returning to the tournament, which would be the first time it has made back-to-back trips since 1991-94.
On the night he reached 1,000 rebounds in his career, Angel Delgado produced the go-ahead basket, a layup with 1:11 left. And Khadeen Carrington followed up his own miss and sank two clutch free throws with 18.4 seconds to go, as the Pirates held Georgetown without a point over the final 2:24.
Desi Rodriguez led Seton Hall (19-10, 9-8) with 27 points, Delgado had 12 points and 13 rebounds, and Carrington notched eight points and three assists. L.J. Peak paced Georgetown (14-16, 5-12) with 15 points.
Rodriguez spearheaded a strong close to the first half, scoring seven points in the final 2:05 as part of a 9-4 run, as Seton Hall took an eight-point lead into intermission. His 17 points balanced out Carrington’s slow start — he missed five of his first six shots — and the Pirates only getting Delgado three field-goal attempts in the opening half.
But Seton Hall failed to step on Georgetown’s throat, coming out sluggish to start the second half. The Hoyas started the stanza on an 11-4 run, and took their first lead since the early going on a Jagan Mosely floater with 12:25 left. The lead grew to 54-49, after a Bradley Hayes hook, but Seton Hall responded, getting even at 56 on a Rodriguez’s three-point play with 4:39 left.
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