Pirates eye fourth straight win hosting new conference foe Creighton

Last season, the Seton Hall women’s basketball put together five wins in all of Big East play. In just their eighth conference game of head coach Tony Bozzella’s first season, the Pirates can equal that win total on Tuesday.

The Hall has won four of its first seven conference games for the first time since the 2002-03 campaign. The blue and white welcome winners of three of four, the Creighton Bluejays, at 7 p.m. on Tuesday inside Walsh Gymnasium.

The Pirates come off a 90-87 comeback victory at Providence on Saturday. Trailing by as many as sixteen, Seton Hall came alive with an 18-4 run that began with just under 13 minutes to go in the second half and made the plays down to stretch to outlast the Friars.

The Hall is powered by junior point guard Ka-Deidre Simmons, who made the same plays that she has been making all season last week. Simmons averaged 18.5 points and 8.5 assists in road wins over Xavier and Providence, which helped her to garner a spot on the Big East Weekly Honor Roll for the second time this season.

Junior forward Bra’Shey Ali has been a tear throughout conference play. The post standout for the Pirates compiled 14 points and 16 grabs off the glass for her fourth double-double in the last five games.

A fast-paced style has brought an attacking approach that has given the Pirates outside shots, as sophomore Tabatha Richardson-Smith had 19 points on Saturday on 7-of-17 shooting. While she only went 2-of-10 from beyond the arc, the Pirates’ offense has fit for explosive outbursts from the backcourt player.

Freshman Theresa Kucera has also emerged in the past few games, as the wing canned three treys in Saturday’s win.

“Adding Teresa (Kucera) into the mix in our offense gives the defense another shooter that they can’t leave open, at the very least,” head coach Tony Bozzella said. “Tab (Richardson-Smith) has been our main shooter, but Teresa can open up the perimeter game even more.”

As for Creighton, the Bluejays’ Marissa Janning earned conference player of the week honors after compiling 23 points and eight assists in an 83-64 win.

Jim Flannery is in his 12th season at his alma mater as his program has garnered seven 20-win seasons. With four players that have started every game, the Bluejays are a cohesive bunch that has not had trouble with staying efficient.

Creighton has committed 12.8 turnovers per game, which is in the top 25 in the NCAA. This is a team that has had ups and downs on the perimeter, as both Creighton and the Pirates can relate with one another in terms of that heading into Tuesday’s match-up inside Walsh Gym.

The Bluejays have shot 33 and 27 percent in each of their conference losses, but have been near 50 percent in their Big East victories.

Senior forward Sarah Nelson, who is tied at 13th on Creighton’s all-time scoring record board with 1,263 points, is the veteran leader of this team as it will be she and Ali for Seton Hall battling down in the post.

This will be the first-match-up ever between the two schools. The Pirates are 1-1 against new Big East foes this season. Tuesday starts a stretch in which SHU hosts three of its next four games. Sitting at 4-3 in conference play, the Pirates, who were picked to finish last in the conference, look to keep rolling in a very curious, momentum-shifting Big East.

John Fanta can be reached at john.fanta@student.shu.edu.

League Standings

St. John’s (7-1)

DePaul (6-2)

Creighton (6-2)

Marquette (4-3)

Seton Hall (4-3)

Villanova (4-4)

Butler (3-5)

Xavier (3-5)

Georgetown (1-7)

Providence (1-7)

Author: John Fanta

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