The Seton Hall women’s basketball team hosted rival Xavier and lost by a score of 80-76, after trailing 63-46 midway through the third quarter. The loss drops the Pirates to 13-8, 5-5 in conference play.
Seton Hall started the game slow, going scoreless into the first timeout as Xavier hit two shots from behind the arc on its first three possessions. The Pirates finally scored their first points on a Shadeen Samuels layup that made the score 9-2.
Xavier’s threes then stopped falling and the Pirates chipped away at the early deficit. The Pirates took their first lead of the game with a Selena Philoxy put-back layup to go up, 12-11. At the end of the first quarter, Xavier led 18-14.
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The Pirates began the second quarter with a three-pointer from Kaity Healy and an and-one layup from Samuels. While Xavier kept pouring on the points and the Pirates played tough defense, Seton Hall fed Samuels, who scored eight of the Pirates’ first ten points of the quarter.
Inja Butina hit a layup at the half-time buzzer to cut the Xavier lead and make the score 39-35. Samuels led the Pirates in scoring with 17 points.
Samuels started the second half for the Pirates with a three-pointer to cut the deficit to only one. But, in the middle of the third quarter, Xavier pulled away, taking as much as a 63-46 lead, following poor shooting and ill-advised turnovers from the Pirates.
In the fourth quarter, the Pirates went onto cut the Xavier lead to ten points. After a timeout, the Pirates had one last chance to rally, and they took full advantage.
With 1:41 left in the game and the Pirates down seven, a rally was led by Jimenez. Playing stout defense, Seton Hall kept chipping away.
The game went down to the wire, and with seconds remaining and the Pirates down two, a steal from Philoxy could have given the Pirates a chance to win. However, Philoxy was immediately called for a travel, giving the ball back to Xavier.
Despite the valiant effort, Head Coach Tony Bozzella was upset about how the game went. Afterward, he spoke on the team’s defensive issues.
“I thought our communication skills were terrible,” he said. I thought we didn’t understand the game plan at all. I think we allowed them to have far too many shots.”
The Pirates will look to bounce back when they host Butler on Sunday, Feb. 3. Game time is scheduled for 1 p.m.
Joseph Ippolito can be reached at email@example.com or on Twitter @joeippy.