Pirates snap losing streak against Siena
The women’s basketball team was able to put a stop to a four game losing streak with a 57-48 win over Siena Wednesday night.
After taking her team on the road for a tournament in Malibu, Calif., head coach Anne Donovan was happy to be back in the friendly confines of Walsh Gymnasium.
“It was huge,” Donovan said. “We shoot the ball well here at Walsh.”
This victory moved the Pirates to 3-4 on the season.
Freshman Tabatha Richardson-Smith led the Pirates with 19 points in 30 minutes off the bench, going 8-11 from the floor and 3-6 from 3-point range. Following a four game losing streak, the team wondered who was going to be the one to step up. Richardson-Smith was happy to rise to the occasion.
“It all started with communication,” Richardson-Smith said. “After losing four games, we knew it had to be someone’s turn, glad it was me.”
In the beginning of the first half, the Pirates got caught giving up second and third chance shots.
“One of our goals is to limit second chance shots,” Donovan said. “It’s really something we need to focus on. It’s hard defending the ball for 30 seconds; you really can’t give them more time to work with.”
The Pirates also won the battle in the post on offense, beating the Saints at their own strength and outscoring them 24-18 in the paint.
After tightening up their play inside the post, Seton Hall’s man-to-man full court pressure began to suffocate Siena leading to an 18-2 Pirate run that lasted 13:49. This run ended when Siena junior Kate Zarotney hit a jumper with 3:09 remaining in the half. Siena was actually able to end the half on an 8-3 run cutting the Pirates lead to 23-15.
The first half saw only one tie score and one lead change, but four ties and lead changes made for a closer second half. Finding themselves down 27-21, Siena rallied with another 8-2 run tying the score at 29 after a 15-foot jump-shot from Siena’s leading scorer, senior Lily Grenci.
A technical foul by Seton Hall senior Breanna Jones gave the Saints a chance to take the lead. Grenci went 1-2 from the line and Siena took a 32-31 lead. Seton Hall was able to regain the lead when senior Brittany Morris found senior Alexandra Maseko on the break for a layup.
Then Seton Hall’s foul trouble came back to bite them. Siena took a three point lead when sophomore Tehresa Coles sank both shots from the charity stripe. Richardson-Smith was able to knock down a three and tie the game at 36, but the Pirates gave back the lead when they put Grenci at the line for two more.
Finally, Seton Hall’s transition offense began to come into form. Richardson-Smith was able to get a layup off a fast-break and once again Morris found Maseko on a long pass leading to finger roll that gave the Pirates the lead.
A floater through the key by sophomore Alexis Brown extended the Pirate lead to eight, putting the game out of reach for Siena.
The Pirates will stay at home for their next game against South Carolina on Sunday at 2 p.m.
Gerard Gilberto can be reached at email@example.com.