Consistency key against physical Marquette
The women’s basketball team will take on Marquette Saturday after beating Providence Tuesday night, 82-72, in its first of two straight home games.
Junior point guard Ka-Deidre Simmons led the Pirates once again. Simmons is only 25 points shy of 1,000 career points and 23 points away from breaking into the top-20 scorers in program history.
With the win over Providence, the Pirates improved to a strong 11-5 at home and 15-10 overall. The team also improved to 6-8 in the Big East, which marks the most conference wins for Seton Hall since they went 9-7 in the 2006-07 season.
Marquette, 18-7 and 9-5 in the Big East is playing hot on a three-game win streak. They are 6-2 on the road.
The Pirates lost a close game to Marquette earlier this month in Milwaukee, where they came up short by only two points (62-60).
In that game, after being tied with the Golden Eagles following impressive runs by both teams, The Hall found themselves down by 12 in the second half. The Pirates rallied late with a trio of 3-pointers, two from freshmen Teresa Kucera and another from Simmons.
Seton Hall also got hot defensively in the second half, forcing seven Golden Eagle turnovers over the final seven minutes of action and holding Marquette to zero points over the final 82 seconds. The Hall forced 25 turnovers overall and had 11 steals.
Simmons, who had a game-high 20 points in the matchup, said this time around they have to play until the end.
“Last time we played them we had them,” Simmons said. “We were up basically the entire game, and we let it slip away. So we have to stay focused on the defensive end and the offense is going to come. So we just have to stay focused.”
Head coach Tony Bozzella hinted that the final score did not indicate how he thought his team performed.
“The one thing I’ll say about Marquette is we lost by two, and I didn’t think we played particularly well,” Bozzella said.
The Golden Eagles recently displayed their ability to come back in their game on Tuesday against a hot DePaul team; they were down by 10, but rallied to take the lead and win the game.
Junior Apiew Ojulu hit a 3-pointer that to put the Golden Eagles on top, and sophomore guard Brooklyn Pumroy’s 5-of-6 free throw attempts sealed the victory. With the victory, Marquette snapped DePaul’s nine-game win streak.
Senior Katherine Plouffe, who led the Golden Eagles in scoring in their previous matchup against The Hall, recorded her 10th double-double of the season against DePaul with 14 points and 12 rebounds. Rebounding is a strength of both teams.
“We’ve got to stop them,” Bozzella said. “Hold them to one shot, and then we can beat them up and down the floor. So it’s important we get rest but we come in the same physical, tough mindset of a team that wants to win.”
The Pirates face off against the Golden Eagles at the Walsh Gymnasium on Saturday. Tip-off is set for 2 p.m.
Courtney Hnasko can be reached at email@example.com.