WBB beats Georgia, increases winning streak at Walsh
Seton Hall Athletics
In what might go down as one of the most memorable wins in program history, the Seton Hall women’s basketball team defeated #14/16 Georgia 70-51 at Walsh Gymnasium and knocked the Bulldogs from the ranks of the unbeaten.
This was Seton Hall’s first win over a ranked team since Feb. 20, 2007 when the Pirates defeated then No. 19 Marquette. It is also their 11th straight win overall and 14th consecutive triumph at Walsh Gymnasium.
For the Pirates (12-1), sophomore Tabatha Richardson-Smith led the way in the second half as she finished with 25 points, including scoring 15 of the 17 Pirate points during a vital 25-2 second half run that helped to put the game away.
“I thought we played our best game of the year,” Seton Hall head coach Tony Bozzella said, “It took a little while for us to measure up, but in the first half Didi carried us and in the second half Tab carried us.”
Graduate student Ka-Deidre Simmons had a solid first half of play, leading the Pirates with 15 points on 9-9 shooting from the free throw line. She finished with only 17 points, but also had six steals in the win.
Her backcourt mate Daisha Simmons missed her first nine shots, but continued to be aggressive on both sides of the ball as she finished with 10 points and six assists.
“We were not successful in stopping that or much of anything else,” Georgia head coach Andy Landers said of the duo. “We haven’t seen a backcourt as good as this one.”
Tiffany Jones, in just her second ever collegiate game, made an impact on the offensive end for the Pirates as she finished with 10 points and six rebounds despite fouling out with 5:40 to go in the game.
Seton Hall was able to outrebound a Georgia team that averaged a rebounding differential of +7.7 by a 42-41 margin. Redshirt junior Bra’Shey Ali once again led the blue and white with eight boards in addition to her six points.
Georgia struggled to find their half-court offense throughout the game as they finished shooting just 31 percent from the field, 22.2 percent from three point range and also committed 20 turnovers. The Pirates’ defense made a big impact on the Bulldog offense and when the Bulldogs were not getting out and running they struggled to score.
The Hall shot 41.4 percent and made just five three pointers in the game. The free throw line was kind to them however, as the Pirates made 17 of their 22 free throw attempts.
“This was an important game,” Bozzella said. “For us to beat a team like that, damn right it is a big win. Besides playoff games it was the most important game I have ever coached in.”
As the Pirates gear up for conference play they now have a chance to be nationally ranked after receiving two AP Poll votes and also picking up 13 votes in the USA Today Coaches Poll.
“I think they should have been ranked before today,” Landers said.
For now, Bozzella’s bunch will prepare for a conference opener against a Butler team that has defeated The Hall two straight times. Seton Hall hosts Butler at Walsh Gym on Dec. 30th with the tip scheduled for 7 p.m.