Georgetown Falls to Seton Hall, 65-60

By Liz Clarke
Washington Post Staff Writer
Monday, January 26, 2009

NEWARK, Jan. 25 -- His team trailing by one point with 45 seconds to play, Georgetown's DaJuan Summers drove to the basket for a layup only to see a Seton Hall defender smack the ball away.

In the mad scramble that followed, center Greg Monroe came up with the ball and fired it to Austin Freeman. But Freeman's shot didn't make it as far as the rim.

The Hoyas tossed up three more frantic shots in the 37 seconds that remained -- a three-pointer that clanged off the rim, a three-pointer that fell short and a hopeless jumper just before the buzzer sounded.

The result was yet another defeat -- this one more humbling than the two that preceded it -- as 12th-ranked Georgetown fell to Seton Hall, 65-60, in a game marred by off-target shooting by both squads and poor decision-making by the Hoyas down the stretch.

It was hardly the way Georgetown (12-6, 3-4 Big East) had hoped to start its seven-day stretch of three conference road games. Instead of solidifying themselves as contenders, the Hoyas handed Seton Hall (10-9, 1-6) its first Big East win.

"We're in a hole," Georgetown Coach John Thompson III conceded. "We're in a rut. We're in a bad situation right now."

The Hoyas started their Big East campaign with a stunning upset of then-No. 2 Connecticut, but have now lost three consecutive games. Worse, their last two defeats have come at the hands of unranked teams, West Virginia and Seton Hall.

"There's a lot of time left," Thompson said, noting that the Hoyas aren't yet halfway through their Big East schedule (nine of 16 games remain). "That being said, this is an unforgiving league."

Nothing underscored the point better than the relentless way Seton Hall battled against the heavily favored Hoyas at Prudential Center on Sunday afternoon.

Both the Pirates' starting and backup centers fouled out in an effort to contain Monroe and Summers. Their best shooter, guard Jeremy Hazell, missed all 10 of his three-point attempts yet finished with a game-high 23 points -- 13 of them coming on the free throw line.

"I told him, 'Just keep shooting! Don't worry about it!' " Seton Hall Coach Bobby Gonzalez said. "He just kept scratching and clawing!"

And though it made for some ugly basketball, Seton Hall's scratching-and-clawing formula proved Georgetown's undoing.

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