Hoyas set to sink Pirates in Big East battle

The Seton Hall Pirates will begin some late ranked Georgetown Hoyas for a Big East Conference bout at the Prudential Center.

This contest will be the 94th between Georgetown and the Pirates. The Hoyas hold a 53-40 lead in the all-time series. Seton Hall has lost six of its last seven games in the rivalry, including an 80-75 setback last season at the Prudential Center.

John Thompson III had led his Hoyas to an impressive 20-5 overall record this season. Georgetown improved to 10-4 in Big East play on Saturday with its 63-53 victory over Providence. The Hoyas played very well on the defensive end in the contest, as they held the Friars to 25.9 percent shooting from the floor and 19 percent shooting from three-point range. The strong defensive effort was nothing unexpected, as Georgetown is second in the Big East in scoring defense with an allowed average of just 58.7 ppg. With a scoring average of 70.3 ppg, the Hoyas carry an average scoring margin of +11.6 ppg, which is also second best in the conference.

Jason Clark averages team-highs of 14.8 points and 1.8 steals per game for the Hoyas, and the senior guard has scored in double figures in five straight outings. Hollis Thompson and Henry Sims are both vital to the Hoyas' success as well, as the former is second on the team with a scoring average of 13.4 ppg. Sims showed off his versatility in the victory over Providence his last time out, as he finished with 10 points, seven boards, and five assists.

After having its three-game winning streak snapped with a 62-57 loss to Cincinnati on Saturday, Seton Hall will need to bounce back against the Hoyas today. The Pirates are 18-9 overall and 7-8 in league action, which has them living on the bubble watch of the NCAA Tournament. Head coach Kevin Willard will need his team to perform better on the offensive end tonight, as they only hit 34.8 percent of their field goals against the Bearcats. Seton Hall is outscoring its opponents by an average of 5.6 ppg. The Pirates are capable of upsets due to their frequent three-point shooting, which ranks third in the Big East with 7.1 treys per game.

The duo of Jordan Theodore and Herb Pope will be vital to the Pirates' chances tonight. Theodore is one of the top point guards in the nation, as he carries a team-best average of 15.7 points per game and is second in the Big East with 6.8 assists per game. Pope is netting 15.4 ppg while ranking second in the league with 10.6 rebounds per outing. Fuquan Edwin is an important contributor as well, as he is chipping in 12.9 points and 2.9 steals per contest. Theodore and Edwin both posted 15 points against Cincinnati, while Pope registered a double-double with 10 points and 15 boards.