Thursday, December 10, 2015

Seton Hall 66, Fordham 54: Ray Floriani's Tempo-Free Analysis

Seton Hall's Aleesha Powell attempts a free throw late in the fourth quarter of Seton Hall's win over Fordham. (Photo courtesy of Karen Floriani)

South Orange, NJ ­- Mark it in the books. Seton Hall defeated Fordham 66­-54 in their women’s basketball non­conference meeting. The rundown precedes the numbers:

First Quarter: On the road, a good start is imperative. The Rams led 5­-4 after the first four minutes. Seton Hall came out with aggressive man-to-man defense. The Rams did not get rattled, ran their offense, and wound up cashing in on opportunities. Seton Hall struggled a bit offensively. Five points from Aleesha Powell provided a spark on that end. Hannah Missry of Fordham buried a three at the buzzer to end the quarter in the Rams’ favor, 17­-14.

Second Quarter: Fordham didn’t exactly look to walk it up the floor. Still, they did not aspire to a high-octane tempo. Seton Hall looked for the faster pace and transition. Tabatha Richardson­-Smith, better known for her outside shooting, was a very tough matchup in transition going to the basket. Fordham, with Missry’s 11 points leading the way, ended the half ahead 34­-27.

Third Quarter: The first four loomed ever vital, as Fordham had an opportunity to build a lead, while Seton Hall had to ensure a good start, thus preventing the deficit from growing. At the six-minute mark, Fordham had a six-point lead as Seton Hall realized their objective. The final six minutes saw Seton Hall get the spurt they searched for. Transition opportunities, often fueled by turnovers or long rebounds, resulted in a 15-­5 run over the final six minutes. The third period ended with the Pirates leading 48­-44.

Fourth Quarter: Fordham was held to one field goal over the first four minutes. The Hall offense got on track as the Pirate lead grew to 13 points with six minutes remaining. Down the stretch, it was a matter of hitting free throws and closing out win number eight. Seton Hall was victorious, and improved to 8-1­. Fordham fell to 3­-5.

Possessions: Fordham 64, Seton Hall 61
Offensive Efficiency: Fordham 84, Seton Hall 108

Four Factors:
eFG%: Fordham 47, Seton Hall 52
Free Throw Rate: Fordham 16, Seton Hall 21
Offensive Rebound %: Fordham 31, Seton Hall 37
Turnover Rate: Fordham 31, Seton Hall 16

What Seton Hall did well: Defend, allowing an 84 efficiency, forcing a 31 percent turnover rate and holding the Rams to 20 second half points. Case closed.

What Fordham did well: Playing away from home, facing one of the best teams in the Big East, getting a good start was paramount. The Rams did, but could not sustain.

Leading Scorers and Effectiveness Factors:
Fordham: Samantha Clark (19 points, EF 28)
Seton Hall: Aleesha Powell (26 points, EF 34)

Seton Hall enjoyed significant advantages in points in the paint (40­-14) and points off turnovers (26-­10) for a 66­-24 aggregate, a deciding factor in this contest.

Besides her 19 points, the hard working Clark tied for game-high rebounding honors, with seven. G’mrice Davis of Fordham and Seton Hall’s Lubirdia Gordon of Seton Hall also pulled down seven rebounds each.

Remembering "Pistol": Shakena Richardson of Seton Hall handed out a game-high four assists. One pass was a pinpoint behind-the-back, Pete Maravich-style pass not seen by yours truly in years. Unfortunately, this was not an assist, but one of Richardson’s three turnovers.

Still point guard by committee for Fordham: Freshman Lauren Holden got a good 18-minute look and had a respectable showing. Holden finished with three points, one assist, and two turnovers.

Final Thoughts
“We came out in the second half with a will to win. We came out determined and found a way to win. We used several different lineups and defended straight man-to-man the second half. We made them (Fordham) work in the second half, and I think they had tired legs as the half wore on.” ­- Seton Hall coach Tony Bozzella

“We still have to do the little things. We are headed in the right direction. We have talent, but must pay attention to detail. Seton Hall is very impressive. They know how to win, and that is a big factor.” -­ Fordham coach Stephanie Gaitley

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