A missed foul shot and put-back by senior Tabatha Richardson-Smith is what it took for her to become the all-time scorer for Seton Hall’s women’s basketball team.
Head coach Tony Bozzella said the play went according to plan following a 60-50 home win against Villanova on Sunday, Feb. 14.
“(Richardson-Smith) had a great offensive rebound off a missed foul shot, which was actually a set play, and Claire executed the play really well with Tab,” he said.
The basket put Richardson-Smith ahead of Geraldine Saintilus (’86-’89), who finished her career with 1,804 points. With a game-high 27 points, Richardson-Smith now has 1,810 for her career. The accomplishment was icing on the cake for the Pirates, as they snapped a three-game losing streak.
Richardson-Smith said the record was never really a concern for her.
“When I came into this game today, my focus was getting the W,” she said. “We had a two game losing streak on our home floor and that doesn’t really happen for the Seton Hall Pirates.”
Aleesha Powell also had a strong game, putting up 13 points in the first half and finishing the game with 16. The senior guard said it was huge for the team to bounce back after dropping three straight.
“The main part for today was to have fun and to bounce back from whatever happened a couple days ago. We just wanted to go out there and have fun and play as a team,” Powell said.
Bozzella said the team watched film yesterday but did not practice in order to rest up. The Pirates are dealing with injuries, most notably Shakena Richardson, who is considered “day-to-day,” by Bozzella.
Several bench players stepped up in the Pirates’ victory, including freshman LaTecia Smith, who finished the game with five points, four rebounds, two steals and two assists. Sophomore Claire Lundberg had four rebounds and two points in 21 minutes of play.
Another big factor in the game was Villanova’s lack of presence inside the perimeter. Only four of the team’s 17 field goals were from inside the three-point arc. The Wildcats were outscored by the Pirates 34-4 in the paint.
“Our goal was to make them shoot threes, but from two feet behind where they wanted to shoot them,” Bozzella said.
Seton Hall also had the advantage on the glass, leading the Wildcats 48-27 in rebounds. Lubirdia Gordon had a game-high 11 rebounds and four offensive boards. She also finished the game with six points.
The Pirates, now 18-7 and 8-6 in the Big East, will embark on their last road trip of the regular season with a Friday night matchup in Butler followed by a Sunday matinee against Marquette.