The Seton Hall women’s basketball team suffered their first home loss at the hands of No. 24 South Carolina, 55-42.
“When we are still scoring in the 40s, I really had thought we were going to fix that issue this year and score my points,” head coach Anne Donovan said.
The Pirates opened up the game hungry; outplaying the ranked Gamecocks, but second chance opportunities for South Carolina kept them close and helped them eventually take a two point lead at the end of the first half.
“We were looking to contain South Carolina and give them less shot clock, and I think that worked well, it was just the second and third shots that broke our backs,” Donovan said.
South Carolina had 17 offensive rebounds in the game compared to Seton Hall’s three.
“They average 20 offensive boards coming in, so it has been our focus all week,” Donovan said. “It has been our focus from the beginning of the season and it’s an area that we really have struggled with, but we have been working on it. I know sometimes it doesn’t look like it, but it is a focus.”
The Gamecocks pulled out to a 10 point lead eight minutes into the second half and never looked back.
South Carolina guard Tiffany Mitchell had a game high 17 points and 11 rebounds.
Brittany Morris led the Pirates with 14 points, shooting 2-4 from behind the arc. Morris was the only player for the Hall in double figures.
Donovan was disappointed by the play of her bench in the game. The lack of output from the bench caused “fatigue” for the starters who were forced to play a lot of minutes.
Morris said how getting off to a good start in both halves is very important if the Pirates are to be successful this season.
“We can’t be lax in the beginning, when we jumped out (in the first half) it rattled them a little. We know next time we need to keep that same confidence and go hard throughout the game,” Morris said.
Two Pirate players, guard Alexis Brown and center Chizoba Ekedigwe, fouled out of the game with under five minutes to play.
Team chemistry is something Donovan has been looking for all season and still feels needs some work.
“We are still trying to come together and roles are still trying to be established,” Donovan said.
The Pirates’ next game will be on the road against Wake Forest at 2 p.m. on Saturday.
Stephanie Vedral can be reached at Stephanie.firstname.lastname@example.org.