Hall ready to fight No. 2 Irish
Senior Guard Brittany Morris handles the ball on offense for the Pirates during a game earlier in the season. Leah Poland, The Setonian
The Seton Hall women's basketball team gets ready to face the No. 2 ranked Notre Dame Fighting Irish on Saturday.
Earlier in the season, head coach Anne Donovan said that she purposely made a tough schedule for her team in preparation for big games. That will be put to the test against the Irish who were predicted to finish second in the conference in the Big East Preseason Coaches Poll.
The Irish come into the matchup with a 21-1 overall record while remaining undefeated in Big East play at 9-0. The only loss suffered by the Irish was early in the season to Baylor 73-61, who currently sits on top of the NCAA rankings.
The Irish were able to move up in the rankings after just edging out Connecticut, 73-72, who were ranked above the Irish in the preseason poll.
The Hall will be looking to snap their two game losing streak following a 26-point loss to DePaul on Wednesday. Their record stands at 8-14 overall while going 3-6 in conference play.
In their last three games the Pirates have been kept under 50 points, something they will need to overcome against a Notre Dame team that is used to producing offensively, averaging 80.4 points per game.
Notre Dame is led by Preseason Big East Player of the Year, Skylar Diggins. Diggins is ninth in the Big East in scoring, averaging 15.9 points per game, and first in assists with 5.6.
Notre Dame junior forward Ariel Baker is a threat in the defensive paint recording 31 blocks so far this season.
"I know they are number two in the country for a reason," Donovan said. "They are very balanced and have multiple attacks."
Senior Brittany Morris and redshirt sophomore Ka-Deidre Simmons continue to be the top contributors for the Pirates on both sides of the ball. Morris leads the team with 12.5 points per game while Simmons tops the assists stats for the Pirates with 3.5 per game while adding 11.1 points on average.
The Pirates have struggled against Notre Dame throughout their all-time series history, winning just four of their 24 meetings, with the Pirates last victory occurring in 2006.
Jumping out to an early lead and playing with high energy for the full 40 minutes will be key for the Pirates who have won all but one of their games where they had the lead going into the second half.
The game starts at 2p.m. on Saturday at the Walsh Gymnasium where the Pirates look to improve their 7-5 record on their home court.
Staff writer Brandon Biskobing contributed to this story.
Stephanie Vedral can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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