Pirates, Blue Demons fight for first place Friday
Katherine Cahalin/Staff Photographer
The Seton Hall women’s basketball team had been unstoppable at Walsh this season up until a loss on Sunday that earned them their first home loss in 20 games. Back on Jan. 18, the Pirates, inside Walsh defeated the DePaul Blue Demons, 107-87. The two teams will meet again this Friday in Chicago for a fight for first place in the Big East conference.
The Pirates’ last game, an 81-73 loss to Creighton on Sunday, Feb. 8 was only their third loss of the season and second Big East loss. In that game, the Pirates had distinct trouble shooting from three point range. Shooting only 20 percent and got outscored by Creighton 33-9.
Despite the recent loss, head coach Tony Bozzella and his team are looking to bring a different mindset to the game this Friday. “We have to come in this game with a different mindset because they’re going to be after us,” Bozzella said. “They know we beat them good last time, so we’re going to have to play even better than we did last time. The girls are focused and we all know that we’re going to have to play our A-game. To win on Friday, we need to play together. When we play together we’re one of the best teams in the country.”
In the two teams last meeting on Jan. 18, the Pirates not only won by 20 points, but broke the program record for points scored in a single game with the final score of 107-87. In this game, the Pirates held control of the lead for the entirety of the second half with the help of Daisha Simmons, Ka-Deidre Simmons and Tabatha Richardson-Smith, who scored a combined total of 75 points for the pirates.
Early in the last match up between these two teams, the Pirates had trouble with turnovers and covering from three point range. The standout Blue Demons players in that game included guards Brittany Hrynko, Jessica January and Chenise Jenkins, who all put up points in the double digits.
“They have a great guard in Hrynko and their other guards Jenkins and January do a good job as well, we’re going to have to be ready to play them,” Bozzella said.
The DePaul Blue Demons, who sit at 19-6 and 11-2 in the Big East, are coming off of a 97-63 win over Xavier on Sunday, Feb. 8. It was the Blue Demons 11th Big East win and gave them sole possession of first place in the Big East.
“It’s tough, our weeks are shorter so we have less time to practice,” Bozzella said on preparation for the upcoming match up. “But today we had one of our best practices in weeks. But in the end it’s more mental to be ready for a game like this.”
Tip-off for the Pirates is set for 7 p.m. C.T. this Friday at the McGarth-Phillips Arena. The Pirates will return home to South Orange on Feb. 20 to take on Georgetown.
Olivia Mulvihill can be reached at email@example.com or on twitter @OliviaMulv.