Tough Big East draw headlines Hall schedule

Last year, the Pirates’ season came to an end after being defeated by rival Rutgers in the second round of the Big East Tournament. It has been five long months for the Hall since that loss, and they are ready to get back on the hardwood.

The women have thirteen out of conference games this season, beginning at Rider on Nov. 13. From there, they go on the road to play Marshall on Nov. 16.

The Pirates then will host the Anaconda Sports The Rock SHU Classic at Walsh Gym on Nov. 20 and 21. On the first day of the tournament the Pirates will play Morgan State, followed by either Arkansas State or Virginia Commonwealth University depending on the result.

After the tournament, the Hall will go on the road to play Rhode Island on Nov. 24. Soon thereafter the Pirates will participate in another tournament, the LIU Turkey Classic in Brooklyn, N.Y on Nov. 27 and 28. Seton Hall then hosts New Hampshire on Dec. 3.

Next up is Colorado on Dec.6. Last year against Colorado, Seton Hall won by over 30 points, 77-40. The final non conference home games for the Hall are against Delaware State, Saint Peter’s, and UC Davis on Dec.12, 19, and 21, respectively.

The Pirates end non conference play at Raleigh, N.C. against North Carolina State on Dec. 28.

“The out of conference schedule puts our team in challenging positions, but it prepares us for the best division in the country, the Big East,” head coach Phyllis Mangina said.

The Hall opens up the new year by beginning Big East play on Jan. 2, when they take on Connecticut at home. Last season UConn went undefeated en route to winning the NCAA Tournament.

Junior forward Maya Moore won last year’s women’s John Wooden Award, honoring the best player in women’s college basketball and, along with senior center Tina Charles, headlined this year’s pre season Wooden Award list.

“Maya Moore is the best player in the country, let alone the Big East, but UConn is more than Moore,” Mangina said. “They have one of the best backcourts, and will be a great challenge.”

Last season, Moore averaged 21 points and eight rebounds per game. On Jan. 5, the Pirates will play Syracuse at home. Syracuse went 17-15 last season and were eliminated from the Big East Tournament in the first round by the St. John’s Red Storm.

Syracuse’s senior forward Nicole Michael, like Moore and Charles of UConn, is up for the Wooden Award.

The fact that three Big East players are up for the Player of the Year Award shows how deep and talented the league may be in 2009-2010. After the Syracuse game, the Hall will embark on a pivotal three game road trip.

First the team heads to Marquette on Jan. 10 to take on a Golden Eagle squad that last year finished one game over .500 at 17-16.

Seton Hall then plays the St. St.John’s Red Storm on Feb. 7. In last year’s meeting the Pirates lost 89-84 to the Red Storm, despite junior guard Ebonie Williams scoring a career high 31 points. The Hall ends the mid season road trip at Providence on Jan. 16.

In last season’s matchup, Providence junior forward Emily Cournoyer had a career high eight blocks and sophomore Trinity Hull recorded nine boards in a 59-51 win in South Orange over the Pirates.

“Three straight in-conference road games is going to test the team,” Mangina said. “We are going to approach them as if they were any other regular season games, we have to deal with them.”

Seton Hall then comes back to Walsh Gymnasium to host DePaul and Cincinnati on Jan. 19 and 23, respectively. The Pirates are looking to erase their worst loss last season, when they fell to DePaul 80-39.

After the short home stand, the Hall will go on another road trip, this time going up against West Virginia and Villanova before playing the Red Storm at home, on Feb. 7.

Following that, the Pirates will take a trip south to Piscataway to face Rutgers University. In their final games leading up to the regular season finale, the Hall will play USF, Pittsburgh, Louisville, and Notre Dame in a matter of two weeks.

The Hall wraps up the regular season in Washington D.C. against the Georgetown Hoyas on Mar. 1. Late last season, the Pirates were able to come up with two wins against the Hoyas.

“Last year we played very well against Georgetown, but we have to make one more step as a program and can still improve in some areas,” Mangina said.

The Big East Tournament begins on Mar. 5 in Hartford, Conn. at the XL Center and ends on Mar. 9.

Nicholas Parco can be reached at nicholas.parco@student.

Author: Staff Writer

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