GAME NOTES: The Seton Hall Pirates have dropped three consecutive games, and will seek an end to that skid as they host the Georgetown Hoyas in a Big East Conference showdown at the Prudential Center.
Georgetown had a four-game win streak snapped Sunday with an 82-60 rout at the hands of St. John's. The Hoyas are 6-7 in the Big East this season, and only have five games left on the regular season schedule to try and make up some ground.
Seton Hall has lost three in a row and four of its last five games, falling to 4-8 in the Big East on the season. The Pirates were defeated by St. John's last Thursday in the team's most recent outing, 68-67.
Georgetown has a 12-game lead in the all-time series between these rivals, 54-42. Seton Hall has the head-to-head win this season, though, defeating the Hoyas 67-57 back on Jan. 18.
Georgetown fell behind to St. John's early, and had to make up a significant amount of distance in order to try and make a comeback. The Hoyas cut the lead to single digits in the second half, but let St. John's once again run away with scoring streaks. D'Vauntes Smith-Rivera led the Hoyas with 15 points in the loss, while Markel Starks and Jabril Trawick each netted 13 points. Georgetown connected on 44.7 percent of its shot attempts in the contest.
Smith-Rivera has had a stellar season for the Hoyas in an otherwise average year for the team. He leads all Georgetown scorers with 17 ppg on 44.8 percent shooting from the floor, adding a healthy 4.7 rpg average and 70 assists to his resume. Starks checks in at second in scoring with 16.6 ppg and a team- high 98 assists. Nate Lubick tops the squad in rebounding with 6 rpg, while Mikael Hopkins trails at 5.7 rpg with a team-best 41 blocked shots.
St. John's also took down Seton Hall before moving on to Georgetown this past Sunday. The Red Storm edged the Pirates Thursday by scoring the final four points of the game to grab the one-point victory. Fuquan Edwin tallied 25 points to lead the Pirates, adding six rebounds and four steals to his stat line. Patrik Auda chipped in 15 points on 7-of-10 shooting with six boards to round out the double-digit scorers for Seton Hall.
Edwin and Sterling Gibbs, who registered eight points against St. John's last Thursday, are the two leading scorers for the Pirates this season. Edwin checks in with 14.2 ppg, adding a team-high 62 steals to his season stats. Gibbs is very close behind, notching 14.1 ppg on 41.2 percent shooting from the floor. Gibbs' 104 assists on the year is a team best, and his 27 steals is good for second behind Edwin. Brian Oliver adds 12 ppg, and Eugene Teague chips in with 10.1 ppg and a team-high 7.8 rpg.
Seton Hall was able to take down Georgetown earlier this season on the road, and has the homecourt advantage this time around. Guard play for the Pirates will be huge, and if Edwin and Gibbs can cancel out Smith-Rivera and Starks, the edge should go to Seton Hall.
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