The Seton Hall women’s basketball team edged Xavier, 72-67, in its last road game of the regular season. With this grind-out win, the Pirates have now beaten the Musketeers six straight times.
Leading the way for the Pirates was Aleesha Powell with 21 points. The senior made 6-of-9 attempts, including four threes. Powell stepped up for the struggling Tabitha Richardson-Smith, who finished with 17 points on 4-of-18 shooting. Richardson-Smith, the high-scoring senior, was held without a point in the first half.
Senior Tiffany Jones had a double-double with 14 points and 16 rebounds. Seven of those rebounds came on the offensive end. Graduate-student Shakena Richardson had 14 points to go along with seven assists.
The Blue and White went into the half with a three-point lead. Late in the second quarter, the Pirates went on a 13-0 run to lead by nine. The Musketeers then shot two straight threes to cut the score to 33-30.
The Pirates led by 10 late in the third quarter, but Xavier closed the gap in the fourth quarter. The game came down to the final minute as the score was tied with under two minutes left. Free throws made by Richardson-Smith and Powell sealed the win for the Pirates.
Both teams had trouble shooting ball as Seton Hall and Xavier barely reached 40 percent. Constant pressure on the defensive end by the Pirates contributed to the win. The Blue and White had nine blocks to Xavier’s one.
The Musketeers had four players score in double figures. Seniors Briana Glover and Aliyah Zantt each scored 13 points. Juniors Maddison Blackwell and Raeshaun Gaffney chipped in 10 points apiece.
The Pirates are 20-7 and 10-6 in Big East play. They are also tied for second in the conference behind the DePaul Blue Demons.
Next up for the Pirates is a home game against the Creighton Bluejays on Friday, Feb. 26 at 7 p.m.
Javon Glenn can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org or on twitter @javong25.