The women’s basketball team will play Syracuse for the second time this season on Friday, when they meet in the first round of the Big East Tournament.
Both teams played each other on Jan. 5 at Walsh Gymnasium and Syracuse came out with a 79-38 win.
In that game, Seton Hall was led by senior Nicole Emery with her team-high 19 points. However, the team altogether shot only 22.6 percent from the floor and had 21 forced turnovers.
Syracuse, on the other hand, grabbed 45 rebounds and shot 54.7 percent.
The Pirates are the No. 16 seed in this year’s Big East Tournament, one spot lower than last year.
As the No. 15 seed in the 2009 tournament, the Pirates defeated the No. 10 seed Georgetown Hoyas in the first round before they fell to their
in-state rival Rutgers, 79-45, a day later.
Syracuse is the No. 9 seed.
Seton Hall would not have been included in last year’s tournament if the Big East conference did not adopt a 16 team tournament last year.
Prior to the 2009 tournament, only the top 12 teams out of the 16 in the Big East were allowed in the tournament.
This followed along with the conference expanding to 16 teams in 2005.
Before the change of format, Seton Hall did have some history in the Big East Tournament.
Although they have never won the tournament, the Pirates have been in the championship game twice since it began in 1983.
In the 1994 and 1995 tournaments, Seton Hall made it to the finals and both times lost to the Connecticut Huskies.
The Huskies then went on to win seven more consecutive Big East Tournaments before they lost to Villanova in 2003.
The road to this year’s Big East Tournament was not an easy one for the Pirates.
Seton Hall finished the regular season with a 9-20 record. Against fellow Big East teams, they were only able to beat Villanova and ended up with a 1-15 in-conference record.
The 53-49 win against Villanova ended a season long nine game losing streak for the Hall.
However, since that victory they are winless and currently riding a seven game losing streak.
Syracuse managed to fair a bit better in the regular season than the Hall.
The No. 9 seed ended their season 20-9, and are coming off of their biggest upset of the year, when on March 1, they came back from a 14-point deficit to defeat the then number No. 7 ranked West Virginia Mountaineers, 67-48.
Syracuse will be looking to win their first Big East Tournament game since 2005, when they defeated Georgetown in the first round before getting knocked out by Connecticut.
Since 2005, Syracuse has either been knocked out in the first round of the tournament, or when it was still a 12-team pool, did not receive a bid.
In their school history, Syracuse has only once advanced to the final game of the Big East Tournament. In 1988, they lost 74-72 in the only overtime championship game in tournament history.
Seton Hall will have to put together an upset similar to what Syracuse did against West Virginia earlier in the week, if they hope to be playing basketball come Saturday.
Nicholas Parco can be reached at email@example.com.