On her senior day in Walsh Gymnasium, center Lubiridia Gordon led Seton Hall women’s basketball with 18 points. Despite her big afternoon, the game was a struggle for the Pirates from start to finish, as Big East rival Villanova cruised to an 87-52 win.
The Pirates were without star freshman guard Kaela Hilaire. Junior JaQuan Jackson also sat the first half but played most of the second half. Pirates coach Tony Bozzella did not say much about both Hilaire’s absence and Jackson’s first half absence.
“It was a coach’s decision,” Bozzella said. “I did not want to play them.”
Early on, it was easy to see the inexperience in the Pirates lineup. Villanova seemed to make every open shot they took and ended the first half shooting a high 74 percent. Moreover, it was not as if one person posed a problem for the Pirates, as six Wildcats scored in double figures. Bozzella was not happy with his team’s defensive effort but acknowledged that his team’s injuries and inexperience played a role.
“We were slow to the ball, but I thought not having a few of our regular starters out there and having people playing different positions was a problem,” Bozzella said.
On the offensive end, Gordon’s 18 points led the Pirates. The only other Pirate to finish in double figures was sophomore guard LaTecia Smith. Smith was also the Pirate’s top distributor with four assists. Despite the low scoring affair from the Hall, the team still managed to take care of the ball, finishing with eight turnovers to their twelve assists.
Jackson was also a bright spot, having scored nine points after sitting the first half. Jackson’s presence gave the Pirates and the crowd a spark after hitting two shots early on in the second half.
Despite the rough loss, the Pirates finished the season with a 10-6 record at home in Walsh Gymnasium. The road has not been as kind, however, and the Pirates will finish up their regular season with a three-game road trip at Creighton (Feb. 17), Providence (Feb. 19) and St. John’s (Feb. 26). Bozzella hopes his team will find a way to improve before the Big East Tournament.
“We have to play more consistently on the road,” Bozzella said. “We are struggling right now so we have to find a way to see how much better we can get.”
Andrew Lombardo can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org or on Twitter @Anlombardo8.