Late surge not enough to lift Pirates over Butler
The women’s basketball team lost to Butler, 74-72, Saturday afternoon despite having four players score in double figures.
The Pirates trailed for the entire first half, unable to overcome multiple scoring sprees from the Bulldogs. The Pirates cut the deficit to two after being down by 11 thanks to a ten-plus minute scoring drought and several turnovers by Butler. Three-pointers from sophomore Tabatha Richardson-Smith and freshman Teresa Kucera helped bring the deficit to 22-20.
Richardson-Smith later completed another three-point play to end the first half with the Pirates trailing 34-29.
The Pirates came out in the second half firing, taking their first lead of the game 40-39 on a jumper from junior Alexis Brown. Brown scored all 10 of her points in the second half.
Seton Hall saw its lead grow to 52-46 with 11 minutes to play, but couldn’t hold off another Butler charge.
Led by junior Liz Stratman, Butler answered with nine straight points to take back the lead, 55-52. Stratman finished with 28 points, a career high, and tallied a team-high 12 rebounds.
The Pirates closed the gap to one point off a jumper from redshirt junior Ka-Deidre Simmons with five minutes to go, but that would be the closest the Pirates got for the rest of the game.
Butler went on an 8-0 run which took up three minutes to go up by nine. Seton Hall answered with a three from Simmons but a couple late free throws from Butler put the Pirates’ comeback attempt to rest. Simmons finished with 24 points and five assists.
Junior Bra’Shey Ali recorded her seventh double-double of the season in the loss, finishing with 15 points and 13 rebounds. Richardson-Smith added 14 points.
The loss brings the Pirates to 16-12 overall and 7-10 in the Big East. They have clinched the No. 7 seed for the 2014 Big East Women’s Basketball Tournament.
But before the Pirates can focus on the tournament, the team will conclude the regular season on Tuesday, March 4 when they return home to face Xavier at 7 p.m., Senior Day for the team.
David Heim can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.