Seton Hall women's basketball travels to Providence to take on the Friars and try to improve on their 1-3 record against all opponents on the road this season.
Led by Big East Conference Player of the Week Ka-Deidre Simmons, the Pirates defeated Georgetown at Walsh Gymnasium on Saturday, 73-62 and earned their second conference win of the season. Simmons scored 14 points, tallied 8 assists and was perfect from the free-throw line in the second half, hitting all eight of her attempts.
The Pirates have important conference games coming up against the Friars, Creighton and St John's, which provide the team with an opportunity to climb in the standings.
Providence has struggled this season, compiling a 6-11 overall record and a 1-5 conference record. In addition, the Friars are 1-6 overall in their last seven games and did not score more than 70 points in five of those matchups.
The Friar's Tori Rule and Alexis Harris lead the team in scoring, averaging 16.4 and 14.4 points per game, respectively. Harris already has 23 blocks this season, and will present the Pirates with an obstacle in the paint.
For Seton Hall, Tabitha Richardson-Smith, the Big East's leading scorer, will join Simmons' impressive play on both sides of the ball. She is averaging 18.4 points per game and has compiled 39 steals this season, which could be the key in the game against the Friars.
Providence has turned the ball over 280 times as a team this season, freshman Sarah Beal has turned the ball over 64 times herself.
Turnover differential will be an important aspect for success in this game.
Another important factor will be the Pirates ability to get into the lane and penetrate in order to force the Friars to be aggressive and create some foul trouble. This could provide open 3-point looks for Richardson-Smith, who has knocked down 42.9 percent of her attempts this season.
This will be an important stretch for the Pirates who play their five out of next eight conference games on the road. The matchup is scheduled for 2 p.m. on Friday, Jan. 25.
Sean Saint Jacques can be reached at email@example.com.