Women take third in Turkey Classic
The women’s basketball team split its weekend matchups at the LIU Turkey Classic in Brooklyn, defeating Brown on Saturday afternoon, 58-57.
The Pirates, now 4-3 after the first month of the regular season, dropped the tournament’s first game, 57-51, against Georgia Tech on Friday.
Seton Hall finished third in the four-team holiday event, a tournament comprised of their two opponents and host school LIU.
Perhaps the theme for the Hall in the two games was the long-winded second half comeback, as they held an early advantage against Brown before the Bears cut down the deficit going into the final minutes.
After a series of offensive miscues and turnovers by the Pirates, Brown came up with a defensive stop that forced a late shot-clock violation. With just under two seconds left, the Bears had possession with three-quarters of the court to clear before a potential last second shot.
But their inbounds pass was intercepted by junior guard Ebonie Williams and she cradled the basketball as time expired.
It could have been a devastating loss for the Hall as Brown was picked to finish in last place in the preseason Ivy League coaches’ poll.
Williams led the scoring again for Seton Hall as she has done virtually all month, posting 13 points on 5-13 shooting and three three-pointers. Sophomore forward Kandice Green finished with a double-double at 13 points and 12 rebounds, seven of those points coming at the free throw line.
Also noteworthy in the contest was that, for the first time this season, head coach Phyllis Mangina changed her starting lineup. Sophomore guard Shanai Heber, who finished with three points and five assists in 33 minutes, took the spot of senior guard Ashley Booker in the starting five.
The Yellow Jackets, meanwhile, posed a more serious test for the team on Friday. Georgia Tech finished with the highest total in the “others receiving votes” column in one of the nation’s Top 25 polls, essentially ranking the team at No. 26 in the country.
Despite trailing by as many as 20 points in the first half, and by a 33-19 margin at the intermission, Seton Hall rallied to close the gap throughout the second half. With the Yellow Jackets only shooting 8-26 from the floor in the half, it seemed as if the Pirates would be set for the upset.
But some late turnovers and ill-advised shots led to Georgia Tech slowing the pace and killing clock. With some clutch free-throw shooting, the team sent Seton Hall to a loss.
In the game, three Pirates scored in double figures, including Williams, Green, and senior forward Nicole Emery. Heber picked up an unconventional double-double on 10 assists and 12 rebounds, possibly the reason why she earned the start against Brown the following day.
Seton Hall returns to action on Thursday night at Walsh Gymnasium as they host New Hampshire before a cross-country trip to meet Colorado on the road on Sunday.
Brian Wisowaty can be reached at email@example.com.