The Seton Hall women’s basketball team recorded its fourth win of the season against the St. Joseph Hawks on the road, 66-54, Saturday afternoon.
The Pirates finished on a strong note, but the game did not start the same way.
With a starting lineup of Tabatha Richardson-Smith, Tiffany Jones, Aleesha Powell, Lubirdia Gordon and Shakena Richardson, Seton Hall had trouble getting the offense rolling. Although the team never trailed, players had trouble finding success anywhere outside the paint, with drives inside becoming the main form of offense.
Jumpers were off, free throws were missed and Seton Hall finished the quarter up just 12-11 on St. Joe’s.
The Hawks would have had a lead if they were able to convert on Seton Hall’s turnovers, another main problem to start. It felt like anybody’s game.
Then, the Hawks met Richardson-Smith.
It was over a minute into the second quarter when Richardson-Smith made her first three-pointer of the game. Then she made another. And another. And another.
Before the five-minute mark in the second quarter, Richardson-Smith herself already matched Seton Hall’s 12-point first-quarter production with four three-pointers on four attempts in under four minutes of play.
This pushed Seton Hall’s lead to 29-17, and the Pirates never looked back.
At the half, the Hall held a 38-26 lead over the Hawks. Richardson-Smith had 18 points in as many minutes, with 14 from the second quarter alone.
But Richardson-Smith could not win the game herself, as Richardson, Gordon and Jones were all standouts.
Richardson, a transfer guard, has impressed this season with her ball-handling, and she continued that trend with her play against St. Joe’s. She recorded six points and seven of the team’s 11 assists. No other Pirate had more than one assist in the game.
Richardson also has stood out in her ability to drive to the paint, where she found most of her points. Her ability to cross over and cut through defense has been a big part of the Hall’s early-season success.
Seton Hall’s frontcourt also continued to impress. The Pirates held down the Hawks in the paint and out-rebounded them 41-26, led by Gordon and Jones. Gordon scored a career-high 12 points and added six rebounds and three blocks, while Jones recorded a very impressive double-double with 16 points and 14 rebounds, while also adding three blocks.
While the Hawks went on a small run near the end of the game, the Pirates continued to play their signature confident and consistent ball, and beat the Hawks with a final score of 66-54.
The win brings the Pirates to 4-0 on the season, and gives head coach Tony Bozzella a well-deserved win on his birthday. Richardson-Smith finished with a team-high 21 points.
The team picks up action next on Tuesday, Nov. 24 at UT-Arlington at 8 p.m., where the Pirates will look to stay undefeated.
Elizabeth Swinton can be reached at email@example.com or on Twitter @eswint22