The Seton Hall women’s basketball team fought back from an early first-half deficit to defeat the Marquette Golden Eagles, 93-86, in a tough Big East quarterfinal matchup.
The Pirates were led by senior Tiffany Jones, who put up a career-high 29 points, with 12 points coming from behind the arc.
The Golden Eagles, led by 31 points from freshman Allazia Blockton, jumped out to an early seven-point lead in the first quarter. At the media break, the Hall trailed 13-6 thanks to a couple of easy lay-ins that were given up to freshman Erika Davenport.
The Pirates came storming back in the second quarter, going on a 9-4 run to open the quarter and briefly retook the lead with 5:59 to go in the first half. From that point on, the remainder of the half was nothing but back-and-forth action, as neither team was able to pull away from the other.
“The first half was tough,” head coach Ton Bozzella said. “Obviously, we wanted to start out ahead.”
Seton Hall jumped out to a six-point lead to start the second half before Marquette quickly tied it up with 6:20 to go in the third quarter. Then, SHU went on an 8-0 run over the next minute and a half to open up an eight-point lead.
Over the course of the final 4:30 of the third quarter, the Pirates extended their lead to 10 at one point and took an eight-point lead into the final quarter of play, where they continued to stay aggressive.
The Golden Eagles refused to go quietly into the night, never letting the Pirates extend their lead beyond 10 points and cutting the lead to as small as two with 6:27 to go in the game. However, a couple of critical three-pointers down the stretch kept the game out of reach for the young Marquette squad.
“I have to congratulate Marquette. They are a heck of a team” Bozzella said. “Everyone keeps saying, ‘Watch out for them in the next couple of years,’ but for us it was, ‘Watch out for them a few hours ago.’ It is a shame that Marquette started out [the season] poorly because they could be a tournament team.”
The Pirates will take on No. 7-seeded Creighton, who upset Villanova, on Monday at 3 p.m. in the first semifinal game of the Big East Tournament.
Editor’s note: All quotes are courtesy of WSOU.
Kevin Huebler can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org or on Twitter @Hueblerkevin.