- Associated Press - Friday, February 21, 2014

NEWARK, N.J. (AP) - If Seton Hall was looking for a little encouragement heading down the homestretch of the Big East Conference regular season, it got it against Georgetown.

Fuquan Edwin scored 21 points and the Pirates defeated the Hoyas 82-67 on Thursday night for their first sweep of the long-time nemesis since the 2002-03 season.

“If we can connect like we did today, no one was selfish, everyone was looking for each other and we played like a unit, if we can do that, we can finish strong,” Edwin said after Seton Hall played one of its most complete games of the season. “If we can do that, our future is bright.”

The Pirates (14-12, 5-8) did a lot of things right in snapping a three-game losing streak and handing Georgetown (15-11, 6-8) its second straight loss. They shot 55 percent from the field and had contributions from a lot of players.

Sterling Gibbs, who came off the bench for a change, added 18 points and seven assists. Eugene Teague, who was benched last game by coach Kevin Willard for an attitude problem, had 12 points and seven rebounds. Jaren Sina, who started for Gibbs at the point guard, added 10 points and Patrik Auda had eight points, six rebounds and a lot of hustle plays that didn’t show up in the box score.

“It’s been tough throughout the year with injuries and different things happening,” Gibbs said. “For us to just come together and click, and actually all be on the same page and have a full team, it’s exciting. We knew coming into the season we knew we were going to be dangerous but we had to stay healthy.”

D’Vauntes Smith-Rivera had 20 points to lead Georgetown, which was coming off an embarrassing 22-point loss to St. John’s. The Hoyas didn’t play much better in this game.

“Our defense was bad, but I want to credit them with their execution,” Georgetown coach John Thompson III said. “I want to say we were bad, but they made us look bad.”

Edwin, who scored 15 points in the first half, hit his first two shots to give the Pirates the lead and they never trailed. They shot almost 54 percent from the field in the half in taking a 37-28 lead and they were challenged only once.

Georgetown came out of the locker room after the intermission and looked like it was ready to make it a game. Jabril Trawick hit two free throws and put in a rebound to cut the deficit to five points and Markel Starks hit a jumper to cut the margin to three. The Hoyas had a chance to get even closer after Patrik Auda missed a 3-pointer, but Smith-Rivera missed a jumper and Seton Hall rediscovered its game.

Gibbs sandwiched a free throw and a three-point play around a fast break layup by Edwin to push the lead to 43-34. A pair of free throws by Gibbs a minute later made it a double-digit lead and Georgetown never threatened again.

The Hoyas, whose winning streak seemed to put them back in the running for an NCAA tournament berth, are now in trouble. Their final four regular-season games are against Xavier, Marquette, Creighton and Villanova.

“This is not the first time we’ve had a tough stretch,” said Trawick, who added 11 points. “When you play college basketball you are going to go through some tough times. I think we are capable of finishing strong.”

Starks finished with 13 points for Georgetown.

The win was only the fourth in the last 12 games for Seton Hall, and the sweep of Georgetown was only its third since the Big East was formed for the 1979-80 season.

Copyright © 2016 The Washington Times, LLC.

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