No success on senior night
The women’s basketball team (8-21, 1-15) dropped their final conference game to Rutgers (18-11, 11-5) on Monday, 71-47, concluding their second straight Big East finish with a one in the win column.
The Pirates fifth-straight loss marks the 11th straight to the in-state rival Scarlet Knights, dating back to Feb. 13, 2002.
“It has been frustrating to lose games,” Donovan said. “We knew this season was going to be a struggle and the big picture was to get better every day, and I think up until tonight we’ve done that pretty consistently.”
The Pirates honored lone senior Kashmere Joseph for Senior Night at Walsh Gymnasium. She tallied three points along with three rebounds and a block before an ankle injury caused an early exit with 4:17 left to play.
Both teams struggled offensively in the first six minutes of the game, until junior Khadijah Rushdan’s jumper gave the Scarlet Knights the 4-2 lead with 14:08 left to play in the half.
Rutgers finished the final four minutes of the half on an 8-2 run, capped by junior April Sykes’ basket that put the Scarlet Knights up 30-20.
Sykes, Rutgers’ leading scorer who averages 13.2 points per game, scored a game-high 25 points on 11-17 shooting from the field. The 6-foot guard used her height advantage over Seton Hall’s three 5-foot-8 starting guards, scoring 15 of her total in the second half.
“Sykes is one of the premier guards in the league,” Donovan said. “We played zone [defense] and she scored over our zone and she scored over our man-to-man.”
The Pirates were outscored 41-27 in the second half, shooting 35.5 percent from the field compared to the Scarlet Knights’ 54.2 percent clip.
Junior guard Jasmine Crew led the way for the Hall with 18 points in the game. Junior center Whitney Wood had the second highest total with seven.
Rutgers committed 19 turnovers in the game, while Seton Hall recorded 17, yet the Scarlet Knights scored 10 more points off their takeaways than the Pirates.
The Scarlet Knights ended their conference schedule on a 4-game win streak.
The Pirates fell at Louisville (19-10, 10-5) on Saturday, 59-49.
Seton Hall forced five turnovers at the start of the game to take a 6-2 lead until the Cardinals went on a 7-0 run. Louisville would lead 28-21 at half time.
The Cardinals took a 10-point lead early in the second half on senior Keshia Hines’ put back and never let Seton Hall get within single digits again.
Both teams committed 20 turnovers yet Louisville outshot the Hall from the field, 42.6 percent compared to 33.3 percent.
Freshman Jazzmine Johnson scored a career-high 19 points for Seton Hall. She also recorded three rebounds.
Junior Tajay Ashmeade tallied her third career double-double with 11 points and a team-high 15 rebounds for the Pirates.
Junior Monique Reid led the way for the Cardinals with 16 points.
“Most people on the outside are looking at wins and losses and it doesn’t look like Seton Hall is making progress,” Donovan said. “But internally, I see the progress every day; how we competed at Louisville, how we’ve been competing the last three weeks without our leading scorer and rebounder [junior Kandice Green].”
The Pirates return to action on March 4 for the Big East Championship tournament in Hartford, Conn., where they will be the 16th seed.
Matt Bryant can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.