Thursday, January 7, 2016

DePaul 86, Seton Hall 74: Ray Floriani's Photo Essay

South Orange, NJ -­ Conference play gives us an opportunity to enjoy and analyze some outstanding basketball. Teams know each other all too well, and are hard-pressed to come up with something new as a surprise element. The conference get-togethers also lend themselves to reminders. A kind of basketball lesson, lest we forget. We saw this happen on Tuesday. At Walsh Gymnasium, DePaul defeated Seton Hall, 86­-74 in a women’s contest.

One of the basic reminders is as nice as home court advantage may be, the home facility does not win the game for you. DePaul, by defeating the Hall, finished off a New York metropolitan area sweep, having defeated St. John’s in Queens on Sunday. The home crowd may spur you on, get the adrenaline going and help sustain a run or rally. In the end, it is players, execution, and intangibles as poise that ultimately win games. In those two dates referenced, DePaul had plenty of each.

Another fact once again driven home is the game is 40 minutes, at least in regulation. The women’s game now divides among four equal ten-minute quarters, as opposed to two twenty-minute halves. Regardless, 40 minutes requiring an entire effort. On Tuesday, DePaul turned a 24-point halftime lead into a 32-point margin in the third quarter. Seton Hall made a furious and determined rally, using defensive pressure and offensive transition to cut the deficit to a manageable seven points with just over four minutes left in the game.

The Hall ultimately fell, losing their first Big East game to the undefeated (in conference) Blue Demons. The lesson was there to be learned. A stretch of playing timid in that third quarter ultimately gave the visitors what proved to be an insurmountable lead. Aggressiveness and take-charge attitude resurfaced in the stretch, too little too late. Another example of having to give the full forty-minute effort. In this case, a lesson learned the hard way.

DePaul lining up for the national anthem:
Official Dee Kantner enjoys a lighter moment before the start of the third quarter:
Megan Podkowa of DePaul inbounds to start the second half:
Aleesha Powell of Seton Hall shows her foul-shooting form at the free throw line:
DePaul during an offensive set:
Seton Hall in a postgame huddle:

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