Women beat Butler, improve to 13-1
The Seton Hall women’s basketball team improved to 2-0 in Big East play, defeating Butler 70-65 on Tuesday.
The Pirates, ranked No. 23 in the country, improved to 13-1 on the season, winning their 12th game in a row and 15th straight contest in Walsh Gymnasium. Butler, now 4-9, had won three of their last four before the loss in South Orange.
Seton Hall’s starting lineup featured Ka-Deidre Simmons, Daisha Simmons, Tabatha Richardson Smith, Janee Johnson and Bra’Shey Ali.
Ka-Deidre Simmons got things going after she found Daisha Simmons for a two-point bucket. It would not be the last time the latter would make an impact on the game, as Daisha ended the night with 19 points on 7-13 shooting, five rebounds, four assists and seven steals. She had picked up 12 points by the end of the first half.
Butler streaked at times, always keeping the game interesting. The Bulldogs went on an early 10-1 run to take a 13-12. It would be a back and forth contest the rest of the half, but the Pirates would close out the first 20 minutes of play with a 37-30 lead.
The second half would remain close, but the Hall never relinquished their lead. Turnovers killed Butler in the end as the Pirates were able to pressure the Bulldogs for 19 of them.
Daisha Simmons was not the only standout player for the Hall. Johnson had 13 points and eight boards while Ali scored 11, grabbed 10 off the glass and had two blocks. Richardson-Smith had eight rebounds of her own, but shot 3-13 from the field. She scored nine.
Tiffany Jones had three blocks in 14 minutes of action.
Ka-Deidre Simmons reached a Seton Hall milestone, taking over sole possession of second place for the most assists in program history. Her 442nd career assist moved her ahead of both Jodi Brooks ('90-'94) and Phyllis Mangina ('77-'81). Kathy O’Reilly holds the Hall’s all-time record with 553 assists.
She finished with 17 points and four assists.
Next up on Seton Hall’s schedule is St. John’s. The Pirates and Red Storm will square off in Queens, N.Y. on Friday, Jan. 2. Tip-off is scheduled for 6 p.m.
Gary Phillips can be reached at email@example.com or on Twitter @GPhillips2727.