The Seton Hall women’s basketball team improved to 21-7 on the season and 11-6 in Big East play with a 77-71 win over Creighton on Friday night. The team is now on a four-game winning streak and tied for second place in the Big East with St. John’s.
For Seton Hall, the game could not start much better. The Pirates jumped to a 7-0 run, capped by a three-pointer from Tabatha Richardson-Smith. Creighton was forced to take an early timeout, but the Bluejays came out on a 10-0 run of their own.
The Pirates would answer, and the teams were tied, 15-15, to close the quarter.
A recent trend of this team has come in the second quarter, where it has often been outplayed. Friday was the day it would use the second quarter to dominate.
Coming from drives to the paint, three-pointers and buckets off offensive rebounds, the Hall went on a lights out 18-0 run. Creighton had no answers.
Seton Hall outscored the Bluejays, 25-13, in the quarter, and would bring a 40-28 lead into halftime.
Creighton kept itself alive in the third quarter, as the three-ball kept finding its way to the bottom of the net. The team finished with 12 threes on the night.
“As everybody knows, Creighton hits threes, and that’s what they did,” Richardson-Smith said following the game.
Richardson-Smith had a night of her own. She had already put up a double-double early in the third quarter, and helped her team keep pace in the third quarter to bring a 62-53 lead into the fourth.
Those final minutes would be the scariest for the Hall. The Bluejays went on a run during an extended drought from the Pirates that lasted over three minutes. Creighton came as close as one point of Seton Hall.
In a make-or-break moment, it was all about getting the ball in the right hands.
“The gameplan was we really needed our offense to move the ball better,” head coach Tony Bozzella said of the threat by Creighton.
The Hall would go on to execute, draw fouls, make free throws, get stops and win the game.
Richardson-Smith continued to shine, finishing with a team-high 22 points and 13 rebounds. Tiffany Jones’ impact also cannot be understated, as she posted 13 points and nine rebounds, six of those being offensive ones that led to second-chance points. Shakena Richardson also added 10 points and five assists.
The Pirates close out the regular season on Sunday at 6 p.m., where they will face Providence. The seniors will be celebrated in their last home game at Walsh Gym. Upon hearing mention of the senior-day game, both coach Bozzella and Richardson-Smith had one word: Bittersweet.
Elizabeth Swinton can be reached email@example.com or on Twitter @Eswint22