Game preview: Seton Hall clashes with Marquette at homeDate: February 6, 2020
By: Heaven Hill
Days after a nailbiter triumph on the road over the Villanova Wildcats 65-63, the Seton Hall Pirates return to Walsh Gymnasium for a revenge game against the Marquette Golden Eagles at 7 p.m.
In the Pirates’ last game out against Villanova, it was another comeback win in-conference for Seton Hall, as they trailed by nine points entering the final period. They went on an 11-1 run to open the quarter and managed to knock off the Wildcats, sweeping their two-game road trip.
Shadeen Samuels had 25 points and the game winning layup in what was her best game of conference play. Desiree Elmore and Mya Jackson also finished with 12 points and 10 points respectively in the huge road victory.
Now the last time they played at Marquette, it didn’t exactly go so well for the Hall. The Pirates had a 24-19 lead after the first quarter, but then the wheels came off as the Pirates were outscored by 26 the rest of the way. Shadeen, coming off a tough performance against DePaul, followed that up with another quiet game, finishing in single digits in the scoring column. Barbara Johnson played well, and Jackson and Elmore also finished in double figures, but simply put: Seton Hall won’t pull off the upset if Shadeen struggles offensively and defensively like she did the last time these teams faced off.
On the opposing end we have the Marquette Golden Eagles, who somehow haven’t missed a beat despite the loss of an astonishing six seniors from last year’s team, including Natisha Hiedeman, who went 18th overall in the WNBA Draft last year and is the highest draft pick in BIG East history since conference realignment. This is a very good team, whose only losses have come to ranked squads like Northwestern, Mississippi State and DePaul, then conference losses to Creighton and Butler.
Along with Lott, they have standout players like Lauren Van Kleunen and Isabelle Spingola, the latter of which is shooting a scorching 43% from three and made the weekly honor roll as well earlier this season. All in all, this is a dangerous squad and head coach Bozzella and his team will have to bring their best.
Looking ahead to Friday, another of Seton Hall’s keys to victory would definitely be to attempt to slow down Selena Lott, who has made the BIG East weekly honor roll four times this season and has established herself as one of the better guards in the country. Ranking first in the BIG East in assists and 20th in the nation, look for Alexis Lewis to guard her from start to finish.
Another key for Seton Hall to pull out the win against Marquette would be to capitalize on turnovers from the Golden Eagles and turn them into easy fast break points. Marquette has a phenomenal defense, ranking top-three in the conference in opponent field goal percentage, three-point percentage and second in scoring defense. Essentially, we’ve seen head coach Megan Duffy and her squad shut down the Pirates before, with the Hall settling for threes and taking tough shots.
Hopefully, coach Bozzella makes adjustments from the last matchup and capitalizes on a weakness of the Golden Eagles: turnovers. With as many assists as they rack up, turnovers happen often as Marquette has the fourth-most turnovers in the conference, along with a bottom-three turnover margin. Seton Hall forces almost 20 turnovers a game, so if the Pirates can get out and run in transition and string together stops, they can even up the season series.
It should be a good one in historic Walsh Gymnasium, so make sure to tune in at 7 p.m., with Dalton Allison and Wilnir Louis on the call.
Heaven Hill can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.