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Pirates falter late in loss to No. 2 UConn

The Pirates rolled into Storrs, Conn. on Wednesday night off six straight wins and sitting second in the Big East standings. The obstacle between them and their winning streak? No. 2 University of Connecticut who, in thier own respect, were coming off an impressive win over No. 1 South Carolina two days prior.

Attribute it to fatigue from an intense game or the Pirates’ disruptive play, but Seton Hall came out swinging and did not lay off the gas. 10 first quarter points from senior Desiree Elmore propelled the Pirates to a 16-10 lead by the end of the quarter.

In the second quarter, the Huskies began to claw their way back, forcing the Pirates into some ugly turnovers and going on a 6-0 scoring run midway through the quarter. A quick scoring run to close the half saw Seton Hall ahead 27-26, which remained the score heading into halftime.

The third quarter is where the tide turned. Both teams traded blows in the early stages of the quarter until UConn went on a 12-0 run and earned their first lead of the game. Sophomore Mya Jackson ended the run with a three-point basket, and the tempo was back-and-forth between the two teams once again. UConn's Paige Bueckers and Seton Hall's graduate transfer Andra Espinoza-Hunter traded threes to end the quarter at 49-43 with the Huskies in front.

Photo via SHU Athletics

The fourth quarter began with an extended 9-0 run by the Huskies that was finally broken by an Elmore floater. The rest of the quarter maintained this rhythm, as the Pirates could only muster 6 points in the final 10 minutes against the Huskies’ 21. The Huskies escaped a poor start with a great finish to defeat the Pirates 70-49.

Despite a weak performance late in the game, the Pirates had three double-digit point performers in Espinoza-Hunter and Jackson each scoring 15 points and Elmore contirbuted 12 of her own.

No other Pirate scored more than five points on the night. After a 29-point performance in the first meeting between these two teams, Lauren Park-Lane scored just five points with five rebounds and four assists.

The Pirates now look ahead to Saturday's clash with Creighton back at home after two consecutive away games.

Brendan Balsamo can be reached at Follow him on Twitter @brenbal.

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