The Seton Hall women’s basketball team rolled over Fordham on Wednesday night, defeating the Rams 66-54 in Walsh Gym.
The Pirates were led by redshirt senior Aleesha Powell, who put up 26 points on the same night that she was honored for reaching the 1,000 point milestone, which she accomplished against North Carolina State on Thanksgiving in Cancun.
The Pirates got off to a slow start offensively, trailing 17-14 at the end of the first quarter. SHU got its first lead of the game with 7:40 to go in the first half.
The Rams were led in the first half by sharpshooter Hannah Missry, who shot 3-3 from behind the arc and scored 11 points in the first half, helping Fordham head into halftime with a seven-point lead, 34-27.
The Hall came out of halftime a new team, going on a 17-5 run over the final eight minutes of the third quarter, giving them a 48- 44 lead heading into the final 10 minutes.
“We had to stop worrying about the offense,” said Powell. “We had to get out and get some steals and get some points and that’s what we did.”
The Pirates held the Fordham offense to only 20 points in the second half and three 3-point buckets.
“We showed a lot of heart and determination, especially on the defensive end in the second half,” head coach Tony Bozzella said. “We just willed ourselves to win. We didn’t shoot the ball particularly well at times but we found a way. We really battled.”
The Pirates shot 46 percent from the floor in the first half and had a 50 percent field goal percentage in the second half, finishing the game shooting a total of 48 percent from the floor.
With as good of a first half as Missry had for the Rams, her second half was just as poor, as the Pirates held the Rams’ leading scorer to no points in the second half and forced her to go 0-for-5 from the floor in the final 20 minutes.
“We went to straight man-to- man (defense),” said Bozzella on the halftime adjustments. “In the second half it was really important for us to keep the pressure up and not leave her alone. I thought that really bogged down there offense.”
Missry came into the game averaging 12 points per game.
Senior Tabatha Richardson-Smith did not play particularly well, finishing with 11 points on 5-for-17 shooting on the night, but she was helped out by Powell and graduate transfer Shakena Richardson.
Richardson slashed through the lane all night, kicking it out to the perimeter if her shot was not there.
With the Pirates trailing by four midway through the third quarter, Richardson hit a pull-up jumper in the lane from about 11 feet that forced the Rams to use a timeout. Richardson finished the game with 18 points and four assists.
The Pirates are back in action when they head to Lynchburg, Va. on Saturday to take on Liberty at 5 p.m.
Kevin Huebler can be reached at email@example.com or on Twitter @Hueblerkevin.