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Hall ready to fight No. 2 Irish

By Stephanie Vedral
On February 7, 2013

  • 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 stephanie.vedral@stu­dent.shu.edu.


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