Georgetown beats Seton Hall to reach Big East title game
Jamorko Pickett scored 19 points, Chudier Bile made big plays on both ends down the stretch and Georgetown reached its first Big East championship game in 11 years with a 66-58 victory over Seton Hall on Friday night.
Dante Harris added 15 points for the eighth-seeded Hoyas (12-12), who are making a surprising March run with three straight wins at Madison Square Garden — where coach Patrick Ewing's retired No. 33 New York Knicks jersey hangs in the rafters.
Georgetown will try to win its first Big East Tournament title since 2007 on Saturday night and the automatic NCAA Tournament berth that comes with it. The resurgent Hoyas will face the winner of the second semifinal between second-seeded Creighton, ranked No. 17 in the nation, and No. 3 seed Connecticut.
Ewing proclaimed “This is my house" after the Hoyas upset top-seeded Villanova 72-71 in the quarterfinals Thursday. Then he complained about the frequent stops to check his credentials, saying he would have to ask Knicks owner James Dolan about it.
“Everybody in this building should know who the hell I am,” Ewing said.
Either way, his team is making a name for itself.
Jared Rhoden had 22 points but was the only scorer in double figures for the fifth-seeded Pirates (14-13), who have dropped five of six. The latest loss would appear to leave them on the wrong side of the bubble when the NCAA field is announced Sunday night.
Sandro Mamukelashvili managed only eight points on 3-of-16 shooting for Seton Hall, only the third time he failed to reach double digits this season. Mamukelashvili shared the Big East player of the year award with a pair of Villanova teammates.
The Pirates got past No. 4 seed St. John's in overtime Thursday.
Bile's three-point play gave Georgetown a 60-57 lead with 1:36 remaining. Rhoden went 1 for 2 from the line before Qudus Wahab, who had 10 points and eight rebounds for the Hoyas, did the same.
Bile and Wahab then combined to block a driving layup attempt by Shavar Reynolds Jr., and Harris sank all three free throws after getting fouled by Reynolds on a 3-pointer. That made it 64-58 with 21.4 seconds left, and Pickett canned two more foul shots to seal it.
Georgetown made five of its first six 3s and Wahab's three-point play gave the Hoyas their largest lead, 32-21, in the first half.
But the Pirates responded, with Rhoden scoring nine in a 13-4 spurt to close the period, and went into the break trailing 36-34.
After making all 23 free throws in Thursday's victory over Villanova, a tournament record, the Hoyas hit their first eight this time until Wahab missed with 3:55 left in the first half. Georgetown missed three of its next four from the line and finished 18 for 25 (72%). Seton Hall was 5 of 11.
Georgetown split two games in seven days with Creighton in early February, upsetting the then-No. 15 Bluejays on the road in the first meeting. The Hoyas lost twice late in the season to UConn, including 98-82 on the road last Saturday in the regular-season finale.