In control of own destiny, WBB faces Hoyas
Seton Hall Athletics
The Seton Hall women’s basketball team (22-4, 11-3) will host Georgetown (2-12, 4-22) on Friday, Feb. 20 at 7 p.m. in what will the team’s penultimate home game of the regular season.
Having just dropped a heartbreaker at home to Marquette, 73-70, on Feb. 15, the Pirates will be looking to get back in the win column. DePaul has supplanted Seton Hall atop the Big East standings, but the Pirates are just a half-game behind the Blue Demons.
The Pirates own the tie-breaker, though, having beaten DePaul twice, and also have a game in hand. If Seton Hall wins out, a banner will be raised inside Walsh.
“We have to win this extra game,” head coach Tony Bozzella said. “We still control our own destiny. We have to focus and do what we’re supposed to do.”
Georgetown will ride into Walsh Gym on a 10-game losing streak. But they Hoyas, who have totaled just four wins all season and only two in conference play, can’t be taken lightly. They took Seton Hall into overtime on Jan. 25, before the blue and white won 99-85 behind 32 points from Daisha Simmons and 29 from Tabatha Richardson-Smith. Still, it was a testament to Big East basketball—anyone can win on any given day.
“They’re very talented, but extremely inconsistent,” Bozzella said of the Hoyas. “They’re a talented team. We have to respect them and be ready to play them.”
Two days after hosting Georgetown, Seton Hall welcomes Villanova into South Orange for the final home game of the regular season. The Pirates have made a point of defending their home court all year, as evidenced by their impressive 15-1 record at Walsh.
“We lost our last home game, so we have to be ready,” Bozzella, who has emphasized the importance of playing well at home, said. “We have to come out ready to play at a high level.”
Friday night will be the team’s eighth annual Play 4Kay game, which honors Kay Yow, former North Carolina State University head coach, who battled breast cancer since 1987 and passed away in 2009.
The Kay Yow Cancer Fund has raised over $3.9 million toward women’s cancer research, according to its official website. The event, which is hosted annually by Seton Hall and schools around the country, is important to both the players and coaches.
“Kay Yow was a great ambassador of the game,” Bozzella said. “Who am I coaching? Women. And what is the number one gender that breast cancer affects? Women. So I think we need to focus on preventing breast cancer, being self-aware. That’s something that we really want to stress.”
There will also be a “Ticket and a T” promotion on Friday. Fans who buy an adult ticket will receive a complimentary pink Under Armour Seton Hall Athletics shirt.
The charity and fanfare is important, but the Pirates need a win, too.
“They’ve worked so hard, they’re great kids,” Bozzella said of his players. “We want to achieve the highest possible thing we could have, whatever that is. Hopefully it’s an NCAA berth. We want to get to the Tournament and win the Big East Championship.
“If you told me at the beginning of the year, ‘if you win you’re last four games you’ll be Big East champions,’ I’d take it. And that’s where we’re at right now.”
Bozzella and the team have been energized by buzzing home crowds all year, and Friday night should be no different as the Pirates look up to pick up a crucial win and reclaim the Big East throne.