South Orange, N.J. – The Seton Hall women’s basketball team was defeated Friday evening, as it fell to the Marquette Golden Eagles by a score of 81-54. The loss marks the Hall’s fourth consecutive defeat and drops them down to seventh in the Big East Conference standings.
In a game that the Pirates needed to win for seeding purposes in the Big East Tournament, Seton Hall was no match for Marquette. Four Golden Eagles players scored in double figures, including Allaiza Blockton, who had 21 points, Natisha Hiedeman, who totaled 18 points, Amani Wilborn, who had 11 points, and Erika Davenport, who registered a double-double with 11 points and 17 rebounds.
Despite shooting 14 percent from three, Marquette was able to win by 27 points thanks to its dominance down in the paint, as the Golden Eagles outscored the Pirates 50-24 in the painted area, and out-rebounding the Hall, 47-25.
“One Marquette player had 17 just by herself,” Seton Hall head coach Tony Bozzella said. “They showed up to the game 38 minutes before tip, but still played with more energy and enthusiasm than we did.”
The Golden Eagles came out of the gates firing on all cylinders. Marquette pressed and was able to force the Pirates to turn the ball over 13 times in the first quarter, leading to 11 points. The first quarter field goal shooting did not aid the Pirates as well, as the home team shot 4-for-12 from the floor.
The second quarter was Seton Hall’s most competitive quarter of the game, as the Pirates tried to build momentum and shrink what was a 13-point Marquette lead at the end of one.
Nicole Jimenez was in the middle of one of the more promising stretches for Seton Hall in the first half, as Jimenez singlehandedly got the Pirates five points. It started with a smartly telegraphed interception and coast-to-coast layup, and ended with a three, in which Jimenez pump-faked and lost her defender. The back-to-back scores brought the Pirates within ten.
Jimenez finished with 12 points, four steals, an assist and a block, following up a 17-point performance on the road against St. John’s in strong fashion.
Behind Jimenez, the Pirates upped their defensive intensity while limiting their turnovers in the second quarter, as they had half the number of turnovers they did in the first quarter.
The Pirates could never catch up to the Golden Eagles in the second half, though, as Marquette had the answer for every Seton Hall run. Needing a big third quarter to erase a 13-point deficit, the Pirates were outscored in the third quarter by one, and later outscored in the fourth quarter by 11.
JaQuan Jackson finished with a team-high 13 points, with 10 of her 13 points coming in the second half.
Bozzella was particularly unsatisfied because the game plan that the team worked so hard on all week did not come to fruition.
“We went over the press breaker, we went over everything all week; but, we just continued to throw the ball away,” Bozzella said. “It’s very frustrating; we played three point guards on the floor at times. As a basketball player, you have got to be able to recognize a zone or a man coverage.”
The next game on the conference schedule will be the regular season finale, as the team will face off against the DePaul Blue Demons for Senior Day on Sunday Feb. 25. Tip-off is set for 1 p.m. in Walsh Gym.
Evando Thompson can be reached at email@example.com or on Twitter @Thompsev.