Though looking to extend their win streak, a fourth quarter push from Villanova lead to a loss in Seton Hall’s return to Big East play and the hardwood for their first game in 10 days, 76-73.
An early 14-to-2 run by the Pirates after trailing by four early propelled the team to an eight-point lead with just under four minutes to go in the first quarter. The run, which started with a pair of free throws from Lauren Park-Lane, was highlighted by four consecutive threes, two of which came from Curtessia Dean, while Andra Espinoza-Hunter and Lauren Park-Lane knocked down one each. Seton Hall held a six-point lead headed into the second quarter.
The Pirates hit their stride again with a 13-to-6 run to open the quarter as Espinoza-Hunter drained her second triple of the game early on. Another pair of Park-Lane free throws gave Seton Hall a comfortable 13-point lead with 3:31 left to play in the first half, 33-20. The deficit was cut to six again, though, as Villanova made their last five shots and went into the half trailing 39-33. The Hall went 8-for-8 from the stripe and shot 50% from downtown in the first half while winning the rebound battle 20-to-15.
Villanova decided it was their turn to go on a run and crawled back to take a one-point lead with 3:41 remaining in the third quarter after Maddy Siegrist made a jumper. From here, Seton Hall would bounce back with a 10-2 run beginning with a Sidney Cooks jumper and Mya Jackson three pointer. Cooks hit another jumper, this time fading, to send the Pirates into the final quarter of play leading 57-50.
In the fourth quarter, Villanova went on an 8-2 run following Jackson’s short jumper to take a 64-63 lead with just half of the quarter left. The remainder of the game saw back-and-forth, though Villanova iced the game at the stripe. Espinoza-Hunter made a quick layup with nine seconds to go and forced a turnover, but the late three-point attempt to send the game to overtime didn’t fall.
Espinoza-Hunter led Seton Hall with 20 points, six rebounds, and two steals. Sidney Cooks and Lauren Park-Lane each notched a double-double, as Cooks added 15 points and 12 rebounds while Park-Lane had 12 points and 10 assists. Mya Jackson tallied 16 points of her own. Curtessia Dean totaled 10 points and seven rebounds, both career highs.
Seton Hall falls to 1-3 in Big East play and 6-6 overall after Villanova’s 76-73 win. The Pirates will return to action on Tuesday, January 4th for another non-conference game, as the program added a game against Towson in Walsh Gymnasium at 7:00 pm.