Seton Hall still has NCAA Tournament hopes despite a defeat on Saturday.
The Pirates (13-9, 10-6 Big East) lost 81-75 to Georgetown, snapping their four-game winning streak despite Sandro Mamukelashvili’s 22 points, five rebounds and three assists.
Seton Hall will look to bounce back when it travels to Indianapolis to face Butler on Wednesday night. After that, the Pirates will close the regular season against UConn and St. John’s.
Mamukelashvili continued his productive season — he is averaging 18.1 points and 7.3 rebounds per game — and Shavar Reynolds Jr. added 13 points. But the Pirates couldn’t take advantage of 18 Hoyas turnovers as Seton Hall shot 28.6 percent (6-for-21) from 3-point range while allowing Georgetown to connect on 10-of-16 from there.
Fatigue also might have been a factor, as Seton Hall was playing its third game in seven days.
“When you play against a team that’s coming off a bye week, you’ve got to make sure you’re coming in and execute defensively,” Seton Hall coach Kevin Willard said. “We just didn’t execute defensively.”
Butler (7-13, 6-11) has dropped three consecutive games as it continues to deal with injuries to key players. The Bulldogs again were without starters Aaron Thompson (thumb, shoulder), Bryce Nze (groin) and Bo Hodges (calf) during a 63-51 loss to Xavier on Sunday.
Butler is 1-6 when Thompson and Nze don’t play.
Nze was held to five points on Jan. 2 when Seton Hall beat Butler 68-60 in Newark, N.J. Butler’s Myles Tate finished with 22 points in that game, but the Bulldogs couldn’t slow Mamukelashvili as he finished with 24 points, nine rebounds and six assists.
Butler had just seven scholarship players available against Xavier on Sunday and scored a season-low 20 points in the second half. For the game, the Bulldogs shot 29.5 percent (18-for-61) from the field and only 19.4 percent (6-for-31) from 3-point range.
Chuck Harris, who is averaging 11.5 points per game this season, led Butler with 14 points, six rebounds and six assists while Bryce Golden had 10 points and 12 rebounds.
“I’m disappointed in the result but was really proud of the effort tonight,” Butler coach LaVall Jordan said. “I thought our guys battled. We got on the boards and ran them off the 3-point line, which were a few of the things we really wanted to stress tonight. In the end, we didn’t get enough shots to fall.”
–Field Level Media