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Women set for Big East tourney

Pirates to face Villanova in first-round matchup

By TJ Brennan
On February 29, 2012

  • Junior Brittany Morris (below) and senior Jasmine Crew are the top two scorers on the Pirates this season. Matt Reichl, The Setonian
  • Junior Brittany Morris (below) and senior Jasmine Crew are the top two scorers on the Pirates this season. Matt Reichl, The Setonian

The women's basketball team will play the No. 10 seeded Vil­lanova Wildcats in the opening round of the women's Big East Championship on Friday.

The Pirates (8-22, 1-15 Big East) are coming off an unsuc­cessful late-game comeback at­tempt Monday night against No. 16 Louisville at Walsh Gymna­sium.

Seton Hall erased an 18-point, second half deficit to cut the Lou­isville lead to six with 41 seconds remaining after freshman guard Alexis Brown banked home a running jump shot.

Brown forced a turnover, but on the inbound, sophomore guard Jazzmine Johnson turned the ball over, and all hopes of a comeback vanished.

"I wish I could have gotten more shots to fall," senior guard Jasmine Crew, who was honored in the pregame senior night cere­mony said. "I wish we could have gotten the win, but all you can do is go out and play as hard as you can."

Crew scored 20 points, shoot­ing 7-of-26, in her last home game as a Pirate.

She was named to this week's Big East Honor Roll after averag­ing 19.7 and three assists in the team's final three regular season games.

"We were just hoping we could continue to make things happen, knowing that we were in an uphill battle," head coach Anne Donovan said. "It was nice to see us fight and get back into position to try and steal the game."

In Seton Hall's last meet­ing with the Wildcats on Jan. 31, Villanova won, 62-53. Crew scored 17 second-half points in the game, including eight straight with under five minutes remain­ing to bring the Pirates to within seven.

The Wildcats (16-13, 6-10) enter the tournament coming off a 68-60 home victory over Syra­cuse on Monday.

Donovan said she is confident about the Pirates' chances in the tournament because of the team's defensive presence.

"I would not want to play us in the Big East tournament," Donovan said. "Defensively, we can guard people, and we can mix our defenses enough that we keep offenses off balanced for the most part."

Seton Hall is currently ranked No. 14 in the conference in defen­sive points, allowing 62.8 points per game.

However, the Pirates have allowed over 60 points only four times in their last eight games, dating back to their matchup with Villanova.

Crew said the key to winning their first game and making a run in the tournament is playing hard for the entire game.

"(We need to) have a lot of intensity for 40 minutes," Crew said. "Be smart, focused and communicate on defense. If we can do those things and play bet­ter offense and knock down more shots, then we can win some games."

The Pirates are 1-1 all time against Villanova in the tourna­ment, but have not played the Wildcats in the postseason since 1995.

"We will definitely be looking forward to that first game," Dono­van said.

The game will be played at the XL Center in Hartford, Conn., with tip-off set for 6 p.m.

The winner will play the No. 7 seed, Louisville on Saturday.

T.J. Brennan can be reached at

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