Seton Hall’s women’s basketball team could not find enough rhythm against Rutgers on Tuesday night, falling to the Scarlet Knights by a score of 53-45 at The RAC.
JaQuan Jackson led the Hall with 21 points (8-18), but received little help elsewhere on offense. The Pirates shot 16-47 (34 percent) on the night.
The Scarlet Knights were led by Aliyah Jeune’s 18 points. In addition, Khadaizha Sanders put up a near triple-double with 15 points, nine rebounds and 10 assists.
After falling to a 10-2 deficit early, the Pirates rallied and took their first lead of the game five minutes into the second quarter on a Lubirdia Gordon layup that put the Hall ahead, 17-16.
Gordon would end the night as Seton Hall’s leading rebounder with five boards, while also chipping in three blocks.
Ahead 28-19 at halftime, the Pirates seemed to have a handle on Rutgers. That changed in the second half when Seton Hall went on a four-minute dry spell.
“They came out. They responded well. We responded poorly and that’s why we got our head handed to us,” Tony Bozzella said. “This, like I told our girls, is unacceptable.”
Beyond Jackson and Gordon, only LaTecia Smith scored more than five points for the Hall as the Pirates struggled to get consistent contributions from multiple players. Bozzella expressed his frustration with the team’s offense.
“We had been moving the ball. We had been working on this zone offense, and we had really been talking about different kids attacking,” he said. “We wanted to get [Claire] Lundberg a lot of shots – she shoots poorly. We wanted to get [Kaela] Hilaire a couple shots – she looked scared. We wanted to get [Deja] Winters a couple shots – she didn’t get it into an open area.”
In addition to inconsistencies on offense, the Pirates were exposed by the dominating size and presence on the boards from the Scarlet Knights, who outrebounded the Hall by a margin of 40-29.
“We just got tight you could tell. If we had just come out of the third quarter, which has been a huge problem, and just even stayed even for four or five minutes the game would have been over,” Bozzella noted. “We let them push us around and out-physical us, out-tough us.”
Both teams had a difficult time maintaining possession, as seen in the Hall’s 22 turnovers, nine of which came from Smith. Rutgers also turned the ball over 22 times.
Meanwhile, neither team had much consistency shooting from the floor, as both teams shot under 40 percent behind equally poor shooting nights.
The Pirates will try to correct course when they to Walsh Gym on Sunday, Dec. 18. The team will take on Rider at 12 p.m.
Kyle Kasharian can be reached at email@example.com or on Twitter @ItsKyleKash.