NEWARK, N.J. (AP) — Seton Hall had a laugher in a game that gave its NCAA Tournament hopes a boost.
Myles Powell scored 30 points and the Pirates opened an early 20-point lead and never looked back in posting a much-needed 90-75 victory over Georgetown on Wednesday night.
“We are just trying to play our basketball,” said Powell, who was 8 of 20 from the field and made all 10 of his free throws. “We know we can play with anybody in the country when we do play our basketball, so we’re just trying to focus on us.”
The night probably was easy for Seton Hall (15-9, 6-6 Big East) because Powell had a lot of help.
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Michael Nzei added 18 points and nine rebounds and Myles Cale had 17 points for the Pirates, who are looking for their fourth straight NCAA Tournament berth. Forward Sandro Mamukelashvili had 11 points, eight rebounds and four assists and point guard Quincy McKnight had nine points and nine assists.
“I don’t think we were surprised,” Mamukelashvili said of the one-sided outcome. “We were ready. We just went with the moment and started battling. Even before the second half start, we said we’re down 20, and not up 13, so we had to do a lot of work.”
Jessie Govan had 20 points to lead Georgetown (15-10, 5-7). Greg Malinowski came off the bench and had 16 points for the Hoyas.
Georgetown coach Patrick Ewing said it was the worst performance by his team in his two seasons running the program.
“They beat us in all phases of the game,” Ewing said. “We were poor defensively. We didn’t execute our offense well. We didn’t show up.”
The smaller Pirates won the game with their 3-point shooting (11 of 25) and their rebounding, holding a 38-30 edge, including 15-12 on the offensive boards.
“We got it going early and we kept our foot on their necks,” said Powell, who is now averaging 22.0 points this season. “We had a great week of practice. We knew what this game meant for us in our season and everyone came out and did their job.”
Seton Hall used a 12-0 run to take an 18-7 lead and it never looked back.
That big run featured a variety of three-point plays. Mamukelashvili started it with 3-pointer. Nzei converted a 3-point play. Cale hit a 3-pointer and Powell capped it with three free throws after he was fouled on a shot from beyond the arc.
It appeared Georgetown might make a run when it closed the first half with seven straight points to pull to within 48-35. However, McKnight and Mamukelashvili hit 3-pointers to ignite an 11-4 spurt that pushed the lead to 59-39 in the opening three-plus minutes of the second half.
“At this time you are trying to build your resume going into the tournament,” Nzei said. “You need as many wins as you can get to put yourself in a good position. That’s what we are trying to do and are going to keep trying to do.”
Georgetown: Patrick Ewing’s Hoyas are young and exciting. Unless they win a bundle down the stretch, or the conference tournament, they should be an NIT team.
Seton Hall: After losing five of seven, Kevin Willard’s team has won two straight. They have six conference games left and need to win four to guarantee another trip to the show. With wins over Kentucky and Maryland, they have two impressive non-conference decisions.
Georgetown: Host No. 13 Villanova next Wednesday.
Seton Hall: At Creighton on Sunday
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