The Seton Hall women’s basketball team could not recover from a 24 point deficit at the half as they fell to the No. 2 Connecticut Huskies 70-37 on Friday evening at Walsh Gymnasium.
Seton Hall drops to 5-5 on the season while the Huskies improve to a perfect 6-0.
The Pirates shot an abysmal 14.3 percent (3-21) from the field in the first half, scoring 14 of their 21 total points from the free throw line, where they shot 87.5 percent (14-16).
Connecticut stifled the Hall’s offense for the majority of the first half, forcing the Pirates to miss their first 11 shots attempted. Junior guard Brittany Morris sank Seton Hall’s first field goal with 8:26 to play in the half.
The Huskies shot 44.1 percent in the first half thanks to the stellar shooting of redshirt-junior guard Caroline Doty who nailed four 3-pointers in six attempts and finished the half with 12 points and 4 rebounds.
At the end of the first half, the Huskies led 44-21.
The second half was a bit different for Connecticut, who shot 29.6 percent from the field and went nine minutes without a field goal midway through the half. Even struggling a bit in the second half could not stop the Huskies, however, who outscored the Pirates 26-16 en route to victory.
According to Seton Hall head coach Anne Donovan, she was proud of the way her team played in the game, especially in the second half.
“We did a good job getting some stops,” Donovan said. “Clearly Connecticut had bench players on the floor for awhile, but it doesn’t take away anything. I think we did some good things defensively.”
Connecticut received 24 points off their bench in the game, 15 of which were scored by freshman Kaleena Mosqueda-Lewis who also added five rebounds.
Connecticut head coach Geno Auriemma said he thought his team played productive basketball, but struggled just as much.
“It was really weird,” Auriemma said. “I would say the first ten minutes of the game was kind of productive and we got some things done. The first five or six minutes of the second half, we got a bunch of stuff done too. Everything else was a struggle.”
Auriemma also said that the game had no rhythm or flow to it and that his team took great shots, but they just were not falling.
“There have been a lot of times that we came down [to Walsh Gymnasium] to play and we haven’t played stellar basketball,” Auriemma said with a smile. “Maybe it has to do with this gym or something.”
Overall, the Huskies were led by Doty, Mosqueda-Lewis, and senior guard Tiffany Hayes who each scored 15 points.
For the Pirates, senior guard Jasmine Crew led the team with 12 points. Brittany Morris also added eight points and five rebounds.
Coach Donovan was confident, despite the loss, the program was moving in the right direction.
“Any time you get beat down, it hurts, and we got beat down tonight on our own floor,” coach Donovan said. “But these kids have been able to compete all season and I don’t expect us to face these types of losses very often. We’ll learn from this. You can either put your head down or move forward, and we’re going to move forward.”
Both Donovan and Crew noted that the atmosphere in Walsh Gym played a huge part in their ability to fight back and play aggressively.
“We’re really happy about how the culture is changing around here, “Donovan said. “We’ve got such great support from the students and the community here, so we’re slowly getting it done. This game, by no means, gives me concern. It’s a process and we’re walking hard to build the program.”
The Pirates’ next test will come against Drexel on Monday evening at Walsh Gym. Tip-off is scheduled for 7 p.m.