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Duquesne dictates as Pirates lose in NCAA opener

[caption id="attachment_13790" align="aligncenter" width="838"]Richardson-Smith.._2 Katie Cahalin/Staff Photographer[/caption] The No. 8-seeded Seton Hall women’s basketball team fell to the No. 9 Dukes of Duquesne, 97-76, on Saturday in their first round matchup of the NCAA Tournament in Storrs, Ct. It was the second year in a row that Seton Hall dropped its first-round NCAA Tournament contest. “They executed the way they want to execute, they took it at us and put us on our heels and we had to play catch-up the whole game,” SHU head coach Tony Bozzella said following the loss. “Duquesne is a very good basketball game – but so are we and unfortunately we did not show that today.” Playing in her first and final NCAA Tournament game, Aleesha Powell said that Duquesne “put a lot of pressure” on the Hall. “We weren’t playing our way, we were not moving the ball or playing as a team,” she said. The Dukes got off to a hot start, as they led the Pirates for the entirety of the game. The Pirates caught up to their speed as they broke the lead down to four at one point, but that almost sigh of relief didn’t last long. “I don’t think we ran out of gas but I think that we made some poor decisions offensively,” Powell said. “We were working hard to get those stops and I think we were getting so close it got the best of us.” Tabatha Richardson-Smith had an uncharacteristic game in the first two quarters, as she was 0-5 from three point range and had just four points. The next two quarters were a different story, as she finished with a team-high 17 points. Other Pirates finishing in double digits were Shakena Richardson and Powell – both with 13 points – and Martha Kuderer with 10. In their first NCAA Tournament game, Kuderer and LaTecia Smith – both freshmen – helped make noise off the bench for the Pirates. Kuderer knocked down two three point shots and grabbed two rebounds while Smith had six points, four rebounds and two assists. Duquesne will face the No. 1-overall seed, Connecticut, on Monday night. The Huskies are coming off of a 101-49 victory over Robert Morris on Saturday. Olivia Mulvihill can be reached at or on twitter @OliviaMulvihill.


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