NEWARK, N.J. -- On Friday night, after No. 13 Seton Hall practiced for the final time before playing Georgetown on Saturday, the Pirates had a special guest -- none other than former Pirates coach P.J. Carlesimo.
Carlesimo, who led Seton Hall from 1982 through 1994, was in town for a special 25th anniversary presentation honoring his 1992-93 Pirates team that won both the Big East regular season and tournament championships. He paid a visit to practice and spoke to the team.
"P.J's message was if you want to be good in March, you have to be good now," said Seton Hall head coach Kevin Willard, after his team defeated Georgetown 74-61. "It was a really good message for my guys. It was good to be able to pick his brain and listen to the stories he tells. I can't measure what he's done for the school. I'm still waiting for us to put up a statue of him for everything he did."
The Pirates were very good Saturday, coming off a tough 20-point setback to Marquette on Tuesday.
"I thought they played hard against Marquette, but just didn't have it emotionally," Willard said. "I'm proud of the way we played today."
Desi Rodriguez and Myles Powell each scored 19 points to lead the Pirates. Powell was especially fired up after the team's sluggish performance against Marquette.
"I had a good week of practice," Powell said. "The four seniors (Rodriguez, Khadeen Carrington, Angel Delgado and Ismael Sanogo) all came to me and told me I had to shoot more, be aggressive, go to the basket. They wanted me to bring some energy and that's what I did."
The Pirates (15-3, 4-1 Big East), who remained undefeated at home (11-0), received 11 points and 13 rebounds from Delgado.
The Hoyas (12-5, 2-4) were led by Marcus Derrickson, who scored 18 points. Jahvon Blair and Jessie Govan scored 11 points each.
The Hoyas controlled the action early on, jumping out to a 12-3 lead, but the Pirates outscored the Hoyas 29-10 over the final 11 minutes of the first half to take a 44-31 lead.
"We got off to a good start, but then we started turning the ball over," Georgetown coach Patrick Ewing said. "We let them back into the game. We can't turn it over that way. We missed layups. We need to get easy baskets. Our offense needs to improve. As a team, we have to stop turning it over."
The Pirates led by as many as 16 in the second half, but the Hoyas cut the lead to 60-52 with 8 minutes left on a steal and a layup by Trey Dickerson.
But the Pirates got a power move from Delgado who pushed the lead back into double digits at 62-52 with 6:29 remaining.
Rodriguez made a driving shot in the lane with the shot clock set to expire that gave the Pirates a 69-54 lead with 3:28 left.
"I was really impressed with the way we played today," Willard said. "We had only one practice in five days. Defensively, we picked up our energy. I was impressed with the way they came back after a real sluggish week."