Monday, February 24, 2014

Seton Hall 90, Marquette 86: Ray Floriani's Photo Essay

SOUTH ORANGE, NJ – Excuse the Seton Hall faithful for exiting Walsh Gym on Saturday with a little added ‘bounce’ in their step. It wasn’t the sunny weather and mercury flirting with 50, a climatic delight. Chalk it up to an exciting 90-­86 Pirate victory over Marquette in overtime.

Seton Hall trailed by as much as 17 early in the second half. They did what they could to hang around and slowly crawl back into it. A loose ball gathered here, three pointer there, defensive stop, etc. All came into play, and down the stretch put the Pirates in a position to first compete, then pull the contest out.

Beyond the necessary X’s and O’s, teams need something else to emerge victorious in games like this, toughness. It can be shown in Ka­-Deidre Simmons hitting the deck on a penetration, yet going on to make crucial plays in the stretch.

Toughness can be displayed in the duo of Bra’Shey Ali and Janee Johnson. Combined, zero points and a wealth of hard nosed plays expressed on the stat sheet in rebounds and steals. Tabatha Richardson-­Smith, a school record 38 points, virtually willing that last-second trey to go down and force OT.

Interestingly, Seton Hall coach Tony Bozzella felt Marquette was the early aggressor. Part of the toughness asks you to respond and get back in it when the deficit is double digits.

The record for Seton Hall is 7-­8 in conference and 16-­10 overall. Yes, February is again meaningful for the Pirates. They are buying into coach Bozzella’s philosophy. The fans, for their part, just love it.

Referee Denise Brooks chatting with Seton Hall head coach Tony Bozzella before the game:
Bozzella is fired up as a timeout is granted:
Ka-Deidre Simmons setting the offense:
Marquette's Brooklyn Pumroy setting up a play:
Marquette coach Terri Mitchell goes over some points during a timeout:
The scoreboard tells the incredible result, but not the whole story:

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