Sporting white and pink uniforms in honor of the night’s Play 4 Kay game, Seton Hall’s women’s basketball dropped to 17-7 on the season and 7-6 in Big East play with a home loss to Georgetown Friday night, 73-65.
Tony Bozzella’s squad looked a bit different when it walked onto the court for tipoff, as its usual starting point guard Shakena Richardson was not on the court. While Richardson was dressed on the bench after recent struggles with an injury, freshman LaTecia Smith started in her place.
Richardson’s absence was felt from the start.
With multiple turnovers from both teams within the opening minutes, Seton Hall was able to keep an edge on Georgetown with three three-pointers from Aleesha Powell, bringing a 13-11 lead to the end of a sloppy first quarter.
Once again, the Pirates led after the first quarter. Once again, the Pirates lost it in the second.
Seton Hall let Georgetown jump to an 18-8 edge in the paint, an 8-0 edge on the fast break and a 22-16 edge on the glass before entering halftime down 33-27.
The Pirates could not defend down low.
“Our defense just completely let us down,” Bozzella said after the game. “We don’t defend anyone anymore. It just kills us.”
The third quarter saw the insertion of Richardson into the game. The offense was able to made a run under her hand.
Tabatha Richardson-Smith was able to get Walsh Gymnasium rocking on her first three-pointer of the game, going 0-6 from beyond the arc prior. Then Richardson was able to get the Pirates the 45-43 lead on a mid-range jumper, but the Hoyas answered right back on what had been killing the Pirates all game: the fast break.
Georgetown entered the fourth quarter up 51-49.
The defense was not enough, as Seton Hall let Georgetown build as much as a 15-point lead in the fourth quarter. The Pirates would hit some key threes and draw fouls through the final stretch, but it was too little, too late.
Powell finished the game with a career-high and game-high 28 points, adding four rebounds and two assists. Richardson-Smith finished with six points on 2-19 shooting (2-12 from three) and a team-high five rebounds and Smith finished with four points and a team-high six assists in her first start.
The starters struggled, with just 12 points contributed outside of Powell. The Pirate bench outscored Georgetown’s 25-15, but the starters could not step up to make it matter.
With the season winding down, time is running out for the Pirates to play at the level Bozzella had hoped to be at.
“It’s frustrating, I thought we’d be better at this stage of the year,” Bozzella said. “We’ve obviously regressed. As coach I have to look back and see what we can do.”
The Pirates next take the court in a Valentine’s Day matchup on Sunday, Feb. 14 against Villanova at 2 p.m. as they finish their home stand.
Elizabeth Swinton can be reached at Elizabeth.firstname.lastname@example.org or on Twitter @eswint22.