The Seton Hall women’s basketball team edged Villanova on Saturday night, 64-56.
After allowing Butler to overcome an 11-point deficit and steal one in Walsh gym last Saturday, the Pirates traveled to Philadelphia and notched their 10th win of the season, and their first in conference play.
Redshirt junior Ka-Deidre Simmons exploded for 25 points and six assists on a night where the team’s leading scorer, Tabitha Richardson-Smith, was held to just one basket.
The point guard had said coming into the game that Villanova’s defense was different than most that she’s seen in her four years in South Orange.
“Their style is different,” Simmons said. “They use a lot of screens, flares and cuts-we have to stay disciplined on defense. We have to talk, move our feet and stay focused.”
Simmons was one of four Seton Hall players to crack double figures in the scoring column. Bra’Shey Ali totaled 10 points and a game-high 16 rebounds, Alexis Brown went for 10 points, seven rebounds and three assists, and Janee Johnson had 13 points and three boards. Ali and Brown led a vicious attack on the glass as Seton Hall out-rebounded Villanova 44-32.
Villanova entered the game riding a three-game winning streak before falling to SHU on Saturday night. A solid defensive effort from the Blue and White held the Wildcats to under 60 points for just the third time all season, and forced ‘Nova to miss over 62 percent of their field goal attempts.
The Wildcats came out hot in the second half, knocking down a couple of three-pointers and tying the game at 46 with under 10 minutes left on the clock. The game went back and forth as Simmons carried the Pirate offense down the stretch.
Simmons got fouled and hit a running teardrop with 3:40 left, giving Seton Hall a 57-54 lead. ‘Nova picked up a bucket, but Ali gave Seton Hall a three-point lead with a runner of her own with a minute left in the game.
The Pirates forced a turnover and hit some clutch free throws en route to the 64-56 final score.
Pirates head coach Tony Bozzella’s team will take on DePaul (11-4, 2-1) on Tuesday night at home and then host the Georgetown Hoyas (7-9, 1-3) next Saturday.
Thomas Duffy can be reached at email@example.com.