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Women’s basketball blown out by Seton Hall

Photo+by+Doug+Peters%2Fdouglas.peters%40marquette.edu
Photo by Doug Peters/douglas.peters@marquette.edu

Photo by Doug Peters/douglas.peters@marquette.edu

Photo by Doug Peters/douglas.peters@marquette.edu

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After playing well in recent contests against tough competition, the Marquette women’s basketball team fell flat against the Seton Hall Pirates, losing by a final score of 99-68. The 31-point loss is the Golden Eagles’ most lopsided defeat of the season and their worst since losing by 34 to DePaul last January.

The blowout started from the first offensive possession, when sophomore center Shantelle Valentine had the ball stolen from her by Seton Hall forward Tiffany Jones and point guard Shakena Richardson dropped in the bucket on the other end. That was the start of a 15-0 Seton Hall run that encompassed more than half the opening quarter. Marquette missed their first 11 shots from the field during that stretch, and eight of those shots were layups.

Even though the Golden Eagles were able to counterpunch with a quick 8-0 run of their own, they still trailed 22-9 at the end of the first quarter. Things only got worse from there. The two teams briefly traded buckets at the beginning of the second quarter, but then the Golden Eagle defense began to implode. Seton Hall closed out the first half making eight of nine field goal attempts to stretch the halftime score all the way to 52-24. Richardson and senior shooting guard Tabatha Richardson-Smith catalyzed the Pirates’ offense. They combined for 31 points on 13-of-25 shooting in the half.

The Golden Eagles’ offense never got off the ground. Freshman shooting guard Allazia Blockton, who averaged over 18 points per game coming into Sunday’s contest, was never able to overcome Richardson-Smith’s staunch defense. She ended the first half with only two points on 1-of-6 shooting. Danielle King, the Golden Eagles’ speedy freshman point guard, fared no better trying to get to the basket against Richardson early on. She scored no points and turned the ball over four times in the first half.

King led the team with five giveaways, but she wasn’t the only culprit when it came to turnovers. Blockton, junior guard McKayla Yentz and freshman guard Natisha Hiedeman each turned the ball over three times. Marquette committed 17 turnovers by game’s end, which led to 22 Seton Hall points.

The second half was played nearly to a draw, but by that point the proceedings were academic. Marquette’s defensive woes and lackadaisical ball-handling had already given Seton Hall an insurmountable lead. The Pirates shot an even 50 percent from the field over the second half to maintain their dominance and send Marquette to a 0-2 record in BIG EAST play.

Marquette allowed six different Pirates to score in double figures, with Richardson-Smith’s 20-point performance leading the way. Shakena Richardson put in an even better overall effort than her backcourt compatriot. The graduate point guard packed the stat sheet with 15 points, eight assists, four rebounds and three steals.

King shook off her scoreless first half to lead Marquette with 16 points. Hiedeman also contributed to what little offense the Golden Eagles put forth; she scored 15 points and knocked down three three-pointers. Overall, Marquette shot only 33.8 percent from the field.

The Golden Eagles are now 5-8 on the season and 0-2 inside the BIG EAST. They will stay on the east coast and get ready for their Tuesday game against St. John’s in New York City. The Red Storm are 2-1 in conference play after losing at home to DePaul their last time out.

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