The Seton Hall women’s basketball team traveled to Hartford, Conn. on Saturday afternoon, knowing that it would face its most difficult opponent of the season and arguably in recent memory. The Pirates played hard against the best women’s college basketball program in the nation, but they were ultimately dispatched by the undefeated Huskies, 99-61.
Nicole Jimenez led the visitors on the offensive end, turning in a 23-point performance. Jimenez also added six rebounds and played in every minute of the game. Shadeen Samuels turned in a complete performance as well, facilitating the offense with eight assists, seven points and a team-high 12 rebounds.
An early three-pointer from Kaity Healy gave the Pirates their first and only lead of the game after tipoff. Connecticut, paced by 26 points from superstar Katie Lou Samuelson, played efficiently and punished every misstep by the Pirates, ripping open a 35-13 lead on over 70 percent shooting from the field by the end of the first quarter.
The Huskies continued to extend their lead with a fluid, nearly unstoppable offense and disruptive defending in front of their home crowd, pushing the halftime lead to an unassailable 32 points.
Despite being down big to a superior opponent, the Pirates refused to give in and kept pace with the Huskies during the second half, only outscored by six in the final 20 minutes. The game will serve as an excellent learning experience for the Pirates, who now drop to 7-2 on the season.
Next up for Seton Hall is a trip to Florida for the West Palm Beach Invitational. There, the Pirates will face Georgia Tech and UNC-Greensboro before Big East play kicks off against St. John’s on Dec. 30.
Kyle Beck can be reached at email@example.com. or on Twitter @notkylebeck.