Coming off a two-game road trip, the women’s basketball team suffered a 31-point loss to DePaul, the reigning Big East regular season champions, Sunday afternoon. The loss was the Pirates’ third in a row.
DePaul was strong out of the gate, as the team built a comfortable 33-18 lead after one quarter. The final score ended at 96-65. The Pirates were out-muscled in nearly every statistical category and were unable to find rhythm on either end of the court.
On the offensive end, the Pirates struggled to create many opportunities and were forced to settle for shots. They were led by junior guard JaQuan Jackson and guard LaTecia Smith, who finished with 14 and 13 points respectively. However, several Pirates struggled shooting the ball, as evidenced by Jackson’s and Kaela Hilaire’s low shooting percentage. Jackson finished shooting 6-16 from the field, while Hilaire was 4-13. The most telling stat of the day was the Pirates’ assist/turnover ratio, as they finished with 23 turnovers while only having eight assists.
Despite struggling to create much offense in the half-court, the Pirates still scored 65 points. Where the Pirates showed vulnerability was on defense. DePaul shared the ball often, as the team finished with 23 assists. With such ball movement came many scoring opportunities early and gave space to their shooters. In the first half alone, DePaul took 21 three-point shots and made twelve of them. In total, DePaul took a 37 three-point shots, making 16 of them. Pirate coach Tony Bozzella was frustrated with his team’s lack of defense.
“We had zero communication,” Bozzella said. “We don’t talk, we don’t support each other, and we don’t help each other.”
Bozzella expressed his overall dissatisfaction following the game.
“A non-understanding of the level you must play at in the Big East and how that can change in ten or eleven days is beyond my comprehension,” Bozzella said.
He was most upset about his team’s effort and performance on hustle plays – the type of plays that don’t show up in the stat sheet.
“DePaul came out and moved the ball and played a lot harder than us,” Bozzella said. “They won all of the 50/50 plays and that’s because they tried harder.”
Looking forward, Bozzella hopes for the team to go back to the level it played at against St. John’s.
“At some point they have to get it,” Bozzella said. “Ten days ago after our win against St. John’s, I thought our kids had turned the corner. Since then, we have been blown out in 12 consecutive quarters. How that happens, I do not know.”
The Pirates will look to bounce back Tuesday, Jan. 10 against Marquette at home.
Andrew Lombardo can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org or on Twitter @anlombardo8.