The Seton Hall women’s basketball team were solid in Cincinnati as they defeated the Musketeers 77-60 to move into first place in the Big East and one win away from at least a share of the regular season conference title.
Tabatha Richardson-Smith led the way for The Hall with 24 points to along with four rebounds. The junior was efficient as she knocked 10-17 from the field and 4-8 from behind the arc. Whenever the team needs scoring they have always been able to turn to Richardson-Smith and she delivered again on Friday.
The Pirates (25-4, 14-3) also got a boost from graduate student Ka-Deidre Simmons. She continued her great season and finished with 21 points on just 6-12 from the field. She would also dish out eight assists and hit all nine of her shots from the free throw line.
The third member of Seton Hall’s dynamic trio, Daisha Simmons, struggled with her shot as she went just 5-21 from the floor, but came away with six rebounds and seven assists. Despite her bad shooting night, Simmons made an impact in other areas on the floor.
One performance that likely raised the eyebrows on the Pirates’ coaching staff and fans was the double-double from junior college transfer Tiffany Jones. She had 13 points and ripped down 14 rebounds. Since she made an important three pointer to help defeat Villanova in the first meeting this season at The Pavilion, Jones has continued to gain an important role on this team.
Seton Hall jumped out to an early lead of 12-2, were able to take a 43-21 lead into the half and did not look back from there. The Pirates never trailed in the game and led for all but 27 seconds in the contest when the game was briefly tied.
The Pirates outscored Xavier 44-24 in points coming from the paint as they were able to penetrate and get high percentage looks. Another key to the win was the fact that The Hall capitalized on turnovers. Seton Hall scored 24 points off of the 19 turnovers that they forced, which was vital in building and maintaining their big lead.
Next up for Seton Hall is the regular season finale against Butler in Indianapolis as they look to grab at least a share of the regular season conference title with a win over the Bulldogs. Tip is scheduled for March 1 at 1 p.m.