The Seton Hall women’s basketball team visits William & Mary today, before traveling to Queens, N.Y. to kick off their Big East conference schedule against St. John’s on Dec. 8.
The Pirates, 4-4, dropped both games of the Junkanoo Jam in the Bahamas in double-digits over Thanksgiving weekend, but are coming off a 65-57 victory at Delaware State Wednesday night.
“I really think that after those two games in the Bahamas I think we have woken up,” junior guard Jasmine Crew said. “We just got to take it one game at a time, and I think we will use these games to gain some momentum.”
The William & Mary Tribe, out of the Colonial Conference, has yet to record their first win, losing their first five games by an average of 16.2 points.
Today’s matchup is the first time these two teams have ever faced each other.
The Tribe boasts a pair of players in Taysha Pye and Kaitlyn Mathieu who average double figures at 12.8 points a game. The team as a whole has only been shooting .313 percent from the field.
After giving up a combined 170 points in two games to Boston College and Auburn in the holiday tournament, head coach Anne Donovan said that a recommitment on the defensive end will get the team back on track, starting Saturday afternoon.
“We have to recover from the Bahamas and play to our strength, which is our defense, until we can figure out our offensive identity” she said. “I’m looking at the Williams & Mary game to get our flow back and in particular our confidence.”
Donovan said the Pirates have to bring intensity night in and night out if they want to have a successful season.
“We haven’t had an easy game and we won’t have an easy game,” Donovan said. “We need to stay in games, and be within position in the last five minutes to stay in and steal wins.”
The Hall will continue their road trip when they square off against No. 24 St. Johns at Carnesecca Arena on Dec. 8. The Red Storm, under ninth year coach Kim Barnes Arico, come in with a record of 6-1. Their only loss came at the hands of undefeated Kansas State.
The Red Storm showcases a very balanced scoring attack, led by sophomore guard Shenneika Smith at 14.3 points per game. Their presence on the boards is marked by an average of 14.9 more rebounds than their opponents.
The Pirates will also be looking to avenge a pair of losses to St. Johns last year, when they dropped both games by an average of 20.5 points.
When it comes to conference play, Crew said the team knows there will be a noticeable difference.
“The biggest difference is the tempo of the game, and of course every night the players are good,” Crew said. “It’s just going to be a fight every night. We can’t allow ourselves to have any letdowns or come out slow like we did these last few games.”
Despite the recent losses, Crew said she feels the team is playing well in certain areas, but they must keep it up over the next few games.
“Our strengths are when we are running on offense and pushing the tempo; we’re very good in transition,” Crew said. “I think if we stick with those things, we will be OK. We really have to focus on doing those kinds of things.”
Tip-off times are 2 p.m. this afternoon against William & Mary and 7 p.m. on Dec. 8 against St. John’s.