Pirates host in-state rival Rutgers
Coming off two straight losses, the women’s basketball team will look to bounce back against the Rutgers Scarlet Knights.
The Pirates (7-12, 2-4) are hoping to end their four-game losing streak before heading out of town for a two-game road trip. After being handed their 13th loss of the season by South Florida, Seton Hall looks to utilize their time off and rebound against a strong Rutgers squad.
“We definitely need to regain our focus in the next few days,” senior guard Brittany Morris said following the loss to USF. “We just need to put the game behind us. When you get beat like that, you think about your mistakes and you come back to practice and work hard to get ready for the next game.”
Morris currently leads Seton Hall with 12.6 points per game and surpassed the 800 career points mark against South Florida.
She also has the two highest scoring games of the season for the Pirates, scoring 23 points against Lafayette and dropping 22 against Memphis.
Redshirt-sophomore guard Ka-Deidre Simmons, although being held to only three points against USF, is the second leading scorer for Seton Hall with 11.3 points per game. Simmons is also the team leader in three point percentage, assists per game and steals.
Senior forward Alexandra Maseko leads the Pirates averaging 5.9 rebounds per game and shooting a team-high 47 percent from the field. Maseko also leads Seton Hall with three double-doubles this season.
The Scarlet Knights (11-7, 2-3) are coming off two consecutive Big East victories against Providence and Georgetown. Rutgers managed to hold the nation’s leading scorer in Sugar Roberts (24.6 ppg) to a season-low 13 points against Georgetown.
Senior guard Erica Wheeler leads the Scarlet Knights with 10.6 points per game. Due to an ankle injury in the first half of the game against the Hoyas, Wheeler failed to reach double figures; something she had done in seven consecutive games.
Senior Monique Oliver is right behind Wheeler with 10.3 points per game to go along with her 4.7 boards per contest.
Sophomore Betnijah Laney is third in points for the Scarlet Knights averaging 8.9 points per game, but is also averaging a team-leading 12.8 points in Big East play.
Rutgers has defeated Seton Hall in the previous 12 matchups and currently leads the overall series 32-7. Last year’s matchup between the two schools ended in a Rutgers victory by a score of 62-39.
The Scarlet Knights scored 31 points off of 18 Seton Hall turnovers in that game. The Pirates, averaging 16.9 turnovers per game this year, will need to minimize their mistakes.
“We definitely want to make it a rivalry,” Morris said. “Over the years we haven’t had too much success against Rutgers. We just need to stay disciplined and stick to the plans that we practice.”
Tip-off for the game is scheduled at 2 p.m. at Walsh Gymnasium.
Mike Romano can be reached at email@example.com.