Monday, February 15, 2016

Seton Hall 60, Villanova 50: Ray Floriani's Photo Essay

South Orange, NJ -­ Years ago in the process of learning the game, the belief here was if you had a prolific scorer, you were guaranteed a very strong team. The years and experience taught otherwise. Having that consistent point producer can be very beneficial. Still, you must look beyond the numbers. Yours truly has witnessed players go for 35 points, yet play a completely unselfish game (I’m looking at you, Elena Delle Donne). On the other side, there have been 15-point scorers totally disrupting chemistry by thinking ‘me first.’

On Sunday afternoon, Seton Hall snapped a three-game losing streak, defeating Villanova 60-­50. The game at Walsh Gymnasium was not settled until the waning moments of the contest. Tabatha Richardson­-Smith is Seton Hall’s top scorer. She is second in the Big East at 19.3 points per game. On this afternoon, she entered the game closing in on the school scoring record. Regardless, she came to the gym with one thought in mind, win, snap a three-game losing streak in the process. Do what had to be done to win.

Richardson-­Smith fed her teammates, defended, scored­, whatever was needed. In those last four minutes, respective coaches Harry Perretta of Villanova and Seton Hall’s Tony Bozzella both agreed that she put her stamp on the outcome as Seton Hall emerged victorious. She also hit the shots, putting her on the top of the Pirate scoring list. The scoring record was a proud accomplishment. A 27-point afternoon was special, but to Richardson-­Smith, the main number that mattered was the addition of one in the win column. To Richardson-­Smith, getting the win was what mattered most.

Having a scorer like Tabatha Richardson­-Smith is a huge advantage for a team. Having a scorer as good as she is, with an unselfish attitude, is a blessing.

Seton Hall during a timeout:
Villanova coach Harry Perretta on the sideline:
Tabatha Richardson-Smith showing her free throw form:
Aleesha Powell running the Seton Hall offense:
The Seton Hall postgame huddle after a tough win:
Now Seton Hall's all-time leading scorer, Tabatha Richardson-Smith poses with some local youth players:
Seton Hall coach Tony Bozzella meets the media:

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