Pirates open Big East play with road loss to DePaul
The Seton Hall women’s basketball team (8-4, 0-1) began its Big East schedule on Thursday night and fell, 89-66, to the DePaul Blue Demons (9-4, 1-0) at McGrath-Phillips Arena in Chicago, Ill. DePaul’s Ashton Millender – who did not see Big East play last year after a stress-reaction injury cut her campaign short – scored 18 points in the second half, all three-pointers to help her team secure the win over the Pirates.
DePaul entered the game receiving votes for the Associated Press Top 25, and took control in the first half. Seton Hall found itself down by as many as 23 points in the first half, despite shooting 43.3 percent from the field in the first twenty minutes. What allowed the game to get out of reach was the Pirates’ defense of DePaul from three, as the Blue Demons caught fire from beyond the arc and connected on 11 three-pointers.
Donnaizha Fountain sustained the Pirates’ offensive efforts in the first half, shooting 4-for-9 with 10 points and four rebounds. No other Hall shooter had double-digit points in the first half, and the Pirates entered the intermission down 48-29.
In the second half, things brightened somewhat for the Pirates as they outscored DePaul 19-18 in the third quarter. Fountain added 13 points in the second half, while Deja Winters erupted for 16 points off the bench after a scoreless first half. DePaul’s commanding lead, however, proved to be insurmountable for the Pirates.
Besides Fountain and Winters, only Nicole Jimenez and Kimi Evans scored for Seton Hall in the final 20 minutes, putting up four points apiece.
Kelly Campbell, a member of the All-Big East Freshman team last season, recorded a triple-double for DePaul with 12 points, 11 rebounds and 11 assists. Her big night marked only the fourth triple-double in the program’s history.
The Blue Demons out-assisted the Pirates by a 29-14 margin, which demonstrated the difficulty that Seton Hall had moving the ball against a defensively stingy DePaul team.
Now, the Pirates travel to Milwaukee, Wis. to face Marquette (7-5, 1-0), on Saturday night at 7:30 p.m. Marquette, which won its first Big East game of the season over St. John’s (7-4, 0-1) on Thursday night, is projected to be the top team in the Big East and may prove to be another tough road test for the Pirates.
Bob Towey can be reached at email@example.com or on Twitter @BobTowey5.