Pirates offense freezes against visiting Bluejays

The Seton Hall’s women’s basketball team fell to the Creighton Bluejays on Tuesday night in Walsh Gymnasium, 68-51, in what was the Pirates first game of 2018.

The Pirates entered the game looking for their first conference win after dropping back-to-back road games to DePaul and Marquette, while Creighton was hoping to remain perfect in Big East play.

Photo via Sean Barry/Staff Photographer

Seton Hall got off to a 9-4 lead early in the first quarter, but had trouble taking the next step to extend its lead.  Creighton was able to overcome an 0-for-6 three-point shooting performance to start the game, and closed the gap at the end of the first.

The Bluejays entered the second down 13-12, but Jaylyn Agnew and Myah Mellman quickly changed that, draining two shots from beyond the arc in the opening two minutes that put the visitors out in front, 18-13.

Seton Hall was able to tie the game at 18, thanks to a three from Shadeen Samuels and a jumper from Taylor Brown. The Pirates, however, only scored four more points in the final six minutes of the first half, and Creighton took a 27-22 lead into halftime after two late three-pointers from Sydney Lamberty.

Seton Hall was able to cut Creighton’s lead down to one point early in the third quarter, although, the Pirates could not put together the pivotal stop and score. The Bluejays took advantage when the Pirates could not capitalize on momentum, and extended their lead to 45-34 at the end of three. Seton Hall went just 5-for-13 from the field in the third quarter, and furthermore, did not even attempt a three-pointer.

Seton Hall had several chances to make a run in the final frame, but the Bluejays would not submit. Creighton did not lead by less than six for the entire fourth quarter and cruised to a 17-point victory on the road.

Agnew led the way for Creighton as the reigning Big East Freshman of the Year put in an all-around performance with 17 points, four assists, three blocks and two steals. Lamberty, meanwhile, added 13 points and four assists, while Olivia Elger chipped in 16 points off the bench.

The Pirates production came almost entirely from Shadeen Samuels, who had 19 points and six rebounds. Donnaizha Fountain had a team-high 10 rebounds, but scored only six points on 2-for-13 shooting.

Head coach Tony Bozzella was disappointed by the outcome of the game, saying that the team had several opportunities to build up an early lead but did not capitalize.

“We missed some easy shots, we had some defensive breakdowns, and all of the sudden it’s a close tight game,” Bozzella said.  “And now, all of the sudden, you’re battling uphill the whole game, and it’s hard to play a team like this uphill.”

With the loss, Seton Hall falls to 0-3 in Big East play, but, Bozzella is determined to figure out the problem and turn the tide before the Pirates fall too far behind the rest of the conference pack.

“I told the girls in the locker room that we can quit and say, ‘Oh, the season’s over, we’re 0-3,’ or, we can just say, ‘Listen, what are we doing wrong? How can we fix it? How can we get back to how we were playing?’” Bozzella said.  “That’s our call.  We’ve got to figure it out.”

The Pirates will have another chance for a home win on Jan. 5, when Providence visit Walsh Gymnasium. That game is scheduled for a 7 p.m. tip.

Matt Lapolla can be reached at matt.lapolla@student.shu.edu or on Twitter @MatthewLapolla.