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Late comeback not enough as Pirates fall to Villanova

Women's basketball eliminated from Big East Tournament following 61=60 loss

By TJ Brennan
On March 2, 2012

Despite posting a 13-point lead on the Villanova Wildcats in the first half, the women's basketball team lost in the first round of the Big East Women's Championship, 61-60, Friday at the XL Center in Hartford, Conn. 

With 2:29 remaining in the first half, the Pirates (8-23) held a 13 point lead, but a 8-0 run from the Wildcats (17-13) cut the Pirates lead to just 5 going into the break.

To start the second period, the Pirates did not hit a field goal until sophomore guard Jazzmine Johnson found a curling Brittany Morris for mid-ranged jumper with 16:19 remaining.

The Pirates retook the lead with 9:10 to go off a jumper from senior guard Jasmine Crew.

The Pirates would build the lead to as much as four, until the Wildcats came storming back.

With a two-point lead with 3:17 remaining, Villanova's leading scorer and rebounder, junior Laura Sweeny fouled out after getting tied up with the Hall's senior center Tajay Ashmeade.

"It was a horrible coaching call to leave her (Sweeny) in the game with four fouls with a two-point lead on offense," said Wildcat head coach Harry Peretta.

With their leader on the bench, Villanova pushed the lead to eight with 1:42 remaining after a 3-point play from guard Devon Kane.

Crew would then score 11 straight points for the Pirates, including a step-back 3-pointer, cutting the lead to two.

With 13 seconds remaining, down by three with Morris fouled out, the Pirates elected to go for the two, as Johnson connected on a lay-up from the left side.

With 3.2 seconds remaining, after two missed free-throws from Kane, a Crew half-court heave fell short as another late comeback bid from the Pirates fell short. 

Crew had 21 points on 9-26 shooting.

Ashmeade continued her prowess on the boards grabbing 12, helping the Pirates out-rebound the Wildcats 46-33.

In addition, the Pirates outscored the Wildcats in the paint 26-20.

"That number is misleading," said Seton Hall Head Coach Anne Donovan.

Donovan also said the season was a let-down year for the Pirates.

"It was a disappointing season overall for us," Donovan said.  "I thought we could steal a few more wins here and there"

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