WASHINGTON — Sometimes you just don’t want to leave the party.
And that was the case on Saturday as Jessie Govan needed every bit of two overtimes to give the home fans at Capital One Arena one last signature performance with 21 points and 12 rebounds as Georgetown outlasted Seton Hall 77-71 on Senior Night.
Govan’s BIG EAST tying ninth double-double of the season was easily is most unlikely effort after the senior started 0 for 8 from the field. After regulation Govan had just six points but that’s when things changed. Govan saved one of his best performances for last by scoring 15 of his 21 points in the overtime periods.
“To me that was Jessie’s game of his career,” said coach Patrick Ewing.
“He’s had big games here for us but to me that was a significant game on his part. His shots weren’t falling, they were doing a lot of different things and there’s been games in the past where he let it affect him and he stopped playing and tonight he didn’t. If it wasn’t for his points, rebounds, and blocks at times we wouldn’t have won.”
Govan agreed with coach.
“I feel like it’s one of our best games too, especially with the magnitude of this game and what we’re trying to do,” Govan said.
“We’re trying to get to the NCAA Tournament, we knew we needed this win.”
Georgetown (18-11, 8-8) is now back to .500 in the league for the fourth time this season, earning a tie – at least for the moment - with Xavier and St. John’s in third place.
James Akinjo added 16 points to go along with some very spirited play while Josh LeBlanc had 14 points and a career-high 17 rebounds – his fifth double-double of the season.
Myles Powell scored a game-high 35 points as Seton Hall fell to 16-12 (7-9) putting themselves in serious jeopardy of missing the NCAA Tournament for the first time in four seasons. The Pirates close with home dates against the top two teams in the conference in Marquette and Villanova making life a bit shaky in Newark.
Some brackets viewed tonight’s game as a bubble elimination game although there are plenty of good wins still to be had plus the conference tournament yet to be played in order to improve the resume. That being said, Georgetown likely needed the win more than the Pirates and they got it and still have the chance to finish with 10 conference wins.
It wasn’t just Govan that struggled in the opening first twenty minutes as Georgetown scored a season low 24 first half points and needed a late mini 4-0 run by Trey Mourning just to get there.
Georgetown got back into things right away in the second half and the game was in the balance for most of the period although things got heated late between Akinjo and Seton Hall guard Quincy McKnight. The Pirates guard started it with some court slapping on defense to which Akinjo immediately responded with a bucket.
Ewing sees his freshman point guard growing but knows he’s got a passionate player.
“Where he’s from when certain things happen he reacts,” Ewing said of Akinjo.
“Part of him growing up is not reacting. I’ve been telling him all year, don’t talk trash to them. The way you talk trash is winning. We win the game that shuts everybody up.”
Georgetown improved to 4-1 this season in overtime games despite twice letting late leads slip away at the end of regulation and the first overtime.
The second overtime was all Govan in his final game as a Hoya on the Kente Court at Capital One Arena, as the senior scored all 11 in the last five minutes. In the post-game press conference GOvan noted that his Hoyas home career began with a double-overtime loss to Radford. The less said about that game, the better.
The Hoyas still have some work to do but you can’t win your final four games without winning the first two. Georgetown must now go on the road to show that they are worthy of Dancing for the first time since 2015.
“Our goal is to make the NCAAs,” Ewing said. “We’ve dug ourselves a whole with the games we’ve lost but if other teams can go on runs so can we.”
Ewing: “Tonight was the proudest I’ve ever been of my team. Sometimes as a coach you want your team to take on your personality well tonight they took on my personality. We fought for everything. I’ve very proud of them.”
Kaleb Johnson played just four minutes in the first half and picked up an injury that sent him to concussion protocol which ended his night.
Trey Mourning finished his home career with five points and three rebounds while Greg Malinowski six points and two rebounds in 17 minutes, highlighted by a big three-pointer in the second half.
Georgetown travels to Chicago on Wednesday to try and complete the season sweep of DePaul. The Hoyas have already swept Providence this season and are looking to get both from the Blue Demons for the first time since 2016.