Women’s basketball team defeats Cincinnati in first round of Big East Championship
The women’s basketball team won its first Big East Championship game since 2009, defeating Cincinnati 60-55 on Friday.
Seton Hall started the game strong, going on a 5-0 run to begin the game. They maintained the lead until the 11:55 mark when a Dayeesha Hollins 3-pointer gave the Bearcats a 13-12 lead.
The Pirates rebounded and took back the lead but then the Bearcats went on a 6-0 run to regain the lead, hich they would not relinquish for the remainder of the first half, only allowing the Pirates to tie the game twice.
The Bearcats took a 30-28 lead into the half. The second half started with the Pirates giving up a basket before scoring two to tie the game at 32.
Lesha Dunn scored on a traditional 3-point play to put the Bearcats up by three, but the Pirates regained the momentum right after by going on an 18-2 run, taking a 50-37 lead with 6:58 remaining in the second half.
Cincinnati would bounce back, going on an 11-2 run to reduce the lead to three with a minute left to play. Brittany Morris would seal the deal for the Pirates, hitting both of her free throws on two occasions in the final minute of play, keeping the lead beyond reach.
Brittany Morris was the focal point of the Pirate offense today, leading the team in scoring with 18 points. She also helped the Pirates on defense with four steals. Ka-Deidre Simmons had 13 points and four assists for the Hall.
Breanna Jones played a crucial role for the Pirates down the stretch, grabbing six offensive rebounds, which helped the Pirates immensely in the second half, leading to 19 second chance points.
Head coach Anne Donovan said she was very impressed with Jones’ work on the glass, especially considering her standing on the team.
“Breanna Jones, I don’t know if people know this, but she is a walk on,” Donovan said. “She’s just a kid who started as a practice player for us. Her work ethic is second to no one in the scholarship, so at halftime when we challenged our post I knew that Brittany was going to take that personal.”
Donovan regarded this win as just one step in the rebuilding of the program.
“For us, this year and every year, we’ve been taking the next step,” Donovan said. “You don’t turn a program around overnight. Every year we’ve been looking to take the next step, and this year we’ve been able to do that. We’ve got great senior leadership. Ka-Deidre Simmons is back from her ACL this year and has given great leadership as a sophomore, and I think that this is a reflection of that, it’s that next step where we can get a win in the tournament and hopefully not be done right now.”
Seton Hall plays St. John’s tomorrow at noon in the second round.