The Seton Hall women’s basketball team cut a 23-point deficit to three late in the fourth quarter, but the effort was ultimately not enough, as the Pirates remained winless in 2017 after falling to Marquette 83-77 on Thursday at Walsh Gymnasium.
The Pirates (8-7, 1-4 Big East) have now dropped their fourth straight contest in conference play after defeating St. John’s in their opener. Claire Lundberg scored 18 points for Seton Hall, going 6-7 from beyond the arc. JaQuan Jackson had 17 points, while Kaela Hilaire added 16 points and five assists. Lubirdia Gordon also put up 12 points along with six rebounds and two blocks.
“I thought this was the type of passion and intensity and toughness that we have to play with and whether we win or lose, we continue to make strides for the future,” Tony Bozzella said. “We played a tough team but we never gave up and played hard until the end.”
The Pirates were plagued early in the second quarter when Marquette scored 16 unanswered points to open, and jumped out to as much as a 21-point lead in the second after consecutive three-pointers from Marquette’s Natisha Hiedeman. The Pirates looked dejected until a late string of baskets in the first half, in addition to an unsporting technical foul on Bozzella, a call he “still did not know the answer to.”
In the second half, however, the Pirates did not back down. Trailing by as many by 23, they closed out the quarter strongly, outscoring the Golden Eagles by eight points to cut the lead to single digits after three quarters of play. Lundberg hit a trey in the final minute, and then Hilaire knocked down a three-pointer at the buzzer to cut the deficit to 64-56.
“Coach had been stressing throughout the week to share the ball more and make sure everybody sees their opportunity, and I think we really did that tonight,” Lundberg said. “We shared the ball a lot better tonight and everyone was able to make it happen.”
The Pirates continued to claw their way back into the game in the final quarter. Strong play from Hilaire was the juggernaut to a rugged final quarter, where she had nine points. Hilaire and the shooting of Lundberg kept the Pirates in the game, however, the Pirates could not handle the duo of Hiedeman and McKayla Yentz, who had 24 and 23 points respectively for the Golden Eagles (13-4, 4-2 Big East).
Seton Hall will look to upend its recent skid when it plays next on the road at Villanova on Friday, Jan. 13 at 11:30 a.m.
Matt Lamb can be reached at email@example.com or on Twitter @MattS_Lamb.