Late comeback not enough as Pirates fall to Villanova
Despite posting a 13-point lead on the Villanova Wildcats in the first half, the women’s basketball team lost in the first round of the Big East Women’s Championship, 61-60, Friday at the XL Center in Hartford, Conn.
With 2:29 remaining in the first half, the Pirates (8-23) held a 13 point lead, but a 8-0 run from the Wildcats (17-13) cut the Pirates lead to just 5 going into the break.
To start the second period, the Pirates did not hit a field goal until sophomore guard Jazzmine Johnson found a curling Brittany Morris for mid-ranged jumper with 16:19 remaining.
The Pirates retook the lead with 9:10 to go off a jumper from senior guard Jasmine Crew.
The Pirates would build the lead to as much as four, until the Wildcats came storming back.
With a two-point lead with 3:17 remaining, Villanova’s leading scorer and rebounder, junior Laura Sweeny fouled out after getting tied up with the Hall’s senior center Tajay Ashmeade.
“It was a horrible coaching call to leave her (Sweeny) in the game with four fouls with a two-point lead on offense,” said Wildcat head coach Harry Peretta.
With their leader on the bench, Villanova pushed the lead to eight with 1:42 remaining after a 3-point play from guard Devon Kane.
Crew would then score 11 straight points for the Pirates, including a step-back 3-pointer, cutting the lead to two.
With 13 seconds remaining, down by three with Morris fouled out, the Pirates elected to go for the two, as Johnson connected on a lay-up from the left side.
With 3.2 seconds remaining, after two missed free-throws from Kane, a Crew half-court heave fell short as another late comeback bid from the Pirates fell short.
Crew had 21 points on 9-26 shooting.
Ashmeade continued her prowess on the boards grabbing 12, helping the Pirates out-rebound the Wildcats 46-33.
In addition, the Pirates outscored the Wildcats in the paint 26-20.
“That number is misleading,” said Seton Hall Head Coach Anne Donovan.
Donovan also said the season was a let-down year for the Pirates.
“It was a disappointing season overall for us,” Donovan said. “I thought we could steal a few more wins here and there”