Georgetown vs. Seton Hall: Hoyas revive their season with second Big East win in New Jersey

Seton Hall's Jeff Robinson shoots over Georgetown's Julian Vaughn, right, during the first half of an NCAA college basketball game Wednesday, Jan. 18, 2011 in Newark, N.J. (AP Photo/Bill Kostroun)
Seton Hall's Jeff Robinson shoots over Georgetown's Julian Vaughn, right, during the first half of an NCAA college basketball game Wednesday, Jan. 18, 2011 in Newark, N.J. (AP Photo/Bill Kostroun) (Bill Kostroun - AP)

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Washington Post Staff Writer
Tuesday, January 18, 2011; 11:33 PM

NEWARK - Georgetown rolled into New Jersey over the weekend mired in a season-jeopardizing slump. They pulled out of Prudential Center late Tuesday night with their second victory in 72 hours, the swagger they possessed a month ago and a week-long break to prepare for their next opponent.

To say the Hoyas saved their season along the Turnpike might be a stretch. But not by much.

"It's a huge confidence booster," Julian Vaughn said after Georgetown's come-from-behind 80-75 victory over sub.-500 Seton Hall. "We had a little adversity, but this group has never pointed fingers, has always stayed together. This group is together as one unit."

Never was that more apparent than in the final minutes against the Pirates, who had opened a six-point lead with 3 minutes 6 seconds to play.

But there was no panic for Georgetown.

Instead, Vaughn, Austin Freeman and Chris Wright - the team's senior leaders - took turns making big plays, and the Hoyas closed the game on a 13-2 run.

Vaughn had 11 points and four blocked shots; Freeman finished with a game-high 28 points; and Wright scored 17 and dished out six assists.

"Down the stretch there, they are seniors," Coach John Thompson III said. "They understand where we are, they understand what this league is, they understand what it takes to win in this league in a game that was, by no stretch, how we wanted it to look. To come away with a win was good."

Good, indeed. It vaulted the No. 23 Hoyas back into the thick of the Big East race at 14-5 overall and 3-4 in the conference.

But the game, and perhaps the Hoyas' season, could have gone either way in the final minutes.

After Jeff Robinson put the Pirates ahead 73-67, the Hoyas calmly and methodically worked their way back into it. Vaughn's second layup in three possessions tied the score, 73-73, with 1:25 left. At the other end, the 6-10 center grabbed one of his six rebounds, which led to a free throw by Wright, who restored the Hoyas' edge, 74-73, in a wild second half that began with the visitors taking a 10-point lead and the Pirates seizing control with a 19-2 run.

"Every dead ball and every time out, we were saying, 'Fellas, there's still 10 minutes on the clock," Thompson said, "Fellas, there's still seven minutes on the clock. Fellas, there's still four minutes on the clock. And we know what we can do in a short period of time. We always felt we had enough time."


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