Katherine Cahalin/Staff Photographer
Tabatha Richardson-Smith (Bay City, Texas) broke the Seton Hall women’s basketball all-time record for three-pointers as the Pirates routed Georgetown on Friday night inside Walsh Gym, 95-68.
The junior guard tallied 23 in the winning effort on 9-for-18 shooting, hitting four three-pointers in the process and tallying seven rebounds. Richardson-Smith now holds the record with 179 three’s on her career, as she passed Brittany Morris’ 178 (2009-13).
“Brittany (Morris) was a fantastic talent and it’s an honor to be all alone at the top in three-pointers,” Richardson-Smith said.
Graduate point guard Ka-Deidre Simmons (Newark, N.J.) put up 16 points while recording seven assists.
“This was a much-needed win,” Simmons said. “We need to play like we did tonight every night. I think we saw what happens when we play unselfish basketball.”
The Hall’s full-court pressure resulted in 29 Georgetown turnovers, giving the Pirates 39 points.
“That’s the key for our team, turning teams over,” Simmons said. “And it comes down to defensive focus. I know we have it in us.
With the two teams tied up at 11 apiece just over five minutes into the action, the Pirates stifled Georgetown with pressure and broke away. After a jumper by Simmons, SHU (23-4, 12-3) forced one of four Hoyas turnovers in the next three minutes and Simmons hit one of two from the free throw line after getting fouled on the ensuing possession. It was all part of a 7-0 surge that was completed by a lay-in from Tiffany Jones (New York, N.Y.).
The Pirates were just getting started, though. Leading 23-15 with just over nine minutes to play in the first stanza, Richardson-Smith drilled a three-pointer to extend the advantage to double-digits. The junior guard took advantage of a Georgetown turnover on the ensuing possession and scored a lay-in on the other end to push the Pirates’ lead to 13. The Hoyas followed with three straight turnovers in the next minute of action, and Janee Johnson (Matthews, N.C.) and Jones combined for six straight points, leading to a Georgetown timeout.
After the Hoyas got a bucket inside to break what was a spurt of 11 unanswered for the Pirates, Jones converted on another lay-in and Richardson-Smith followed with a trey to put SHU in favor, 39-17, with 6:21 to play in the first half. The Hoyas were stuck offensively due to fullcourt pressure, giving Seton Hall a 22-4 run.
Johnson’s third trey of the half gave SHU a 54-22 lead, completing a run of 11 straight made field goals for the Pirates. Jones capped the explosive stanza with a trey from the right corner, and The Hall tied a season-high for first-half points, holding a 57-30 advantage.
After starting 1-for-10 from three-point territory, the Pirates followed by making six of its next seven, with Johnson hitting three of those to lead the team. In the first 20 minutes alone, the Pirates tallied their season average for forced turnovers, garnering 18 takeaways from the Hoyas.
The second half brought more of the same for the Pirates as Ka-Deidre Simmons knocked down two lay-ins in just a span of 90 seconds, and The Hall led 63-34. Richardson-Smith and Daisha Simmons (Jersey City, N.J.) followed with two three’s in as many possessions, and with 15:39 to play, the Pirates controlled the Hoyas, 72-34.
Seton Hall’s largest lead was 40 when Johnson hit her fourth three of the night with 13:53 remaining. Richardson-Smith’s historic three came with 10:11 to play in the game, giving the Pirates an 83-44 advantage.
Georgetown (4-23, 2-13) reached no closer to within 27 of the Pirates.
Johnson ended up with 14 points and eight boards while Daisha Simmons finished with 12 points to go along with four dishes.
The Hall used strong contributions from its bench, which combined for 27 points in the win. Redshirt junior guard Jordan Mosley (Orlando, Florida) delivered seven while sophomore center Lubirdia Gordon contributed five for SHU.
Seton Hall will return to action in the Pirates’ home finale when they welcome Villanova into Walsh Gym. The Wildcats fell on Friday, 56-51, to St. John’s, but are still in third in the league standings at 16-11 overall and 11-5 in the conference.
The Hall will also celebrate Senior Day before the game and head coach Tony Bozzella is welcoming any alumni from the program to the 2 p.m. contest. The game will be broadcast on the Pirate Sports Network as well. ?