seton hall, st. john's, big east tournament
Mandatory Credit: Brad Penner-USA TODAY Sports

The Seton Hall Pirates outlast the St. Johns Red Storm in overtime in an old-school Big East Tournament battle.

St. John’s and Seton Hall are two Big East blue bloods and it looked like it on Thursday evening in Madison Square Garden. The Johnnies and the Pirates battled for 44 minutes, grinding out every single possession like it would be their last.

New Jersey won this battle, a quarterfinals matchup in the Big East Tournament. Seton Hall was led by co-Big East Player of the Year Sandro Mamukelashvili, but Ike Obiagu, Jared Rhoden, and Myles Cale provided big minutes as well.

Mamukelashvili led the way with 20 points, 11 boards, and four assists, but it was Rhoden’s monster second half that propelled the Pirates to the win. The junior finished with 19 points and 16 rebounds. Obiagu and Cale were exactly what Seton Hall needed. Obiagu dominated the paint with seven blocks while Cale chipped in with 16 points.

Although St. John’s had four different guys score in double figures, they shot the ball poorly as a team. The Johnnies went 24-for-73 from the field and 6-for-25 from beyond the arc. Their high-pressure, up-tempo style of play can keep them in games when they have a hard time scoring, but it wasn’t enough to put them over the edge.

Georgetown upset No. 1 seeded Villanova in the afternoon game and suddenly, the top side of the Big East Tournament bracket opened like the Red Sea. Now, this win, Duke’s positive COVID test, and the Villanova loss open the door for Seton Hall to snag a possible at-large invitation to the 2021 NCAA tournament. A trip to the Big East Championship Game might be enough to push the Pirates over the top for the committee.

However, the problem with Villanova losing is that it eliminates the chance for a win-and-you’re-in game in the quarterfinals.

With all that said, the Pirates should not be overlooking the Georgetown Hoyas. Patrick Ewing‘s squad seems to have figured it out at the right time. Seton Hall and Georgetown split their regular-season series.

NY/NJ hoops reporter (NBA/NCAA) & sports betting writer for XL Media. Never had the makings of a varsity athlete.