March 22, 2014
SETON HALL (19-13) vs. PRINCETON (21-8)
South Orange, N.J. (Walsh Gymnasium) Sunday, March 23 5:00 PM
Broadcast: Pirate Sports Network (Play-by-play: Jon Schaeffer)
Radio: 89.5 FM WSOU (Play-by-play: Clayton Collier; Color: Vincent Paolella)
The Seton Hall University women's basketball team will host Princeton University in the Second Round of the 2014 Postseason WNIT on Sunday, March 23, in Walsh Gymnasium at 5 p.m. Seton Hall, which is making its first postseason appearance since 2007 and just the sixth overall, is in the second round of the WNIT for the third time. Seton Hall and Princeton will be matching up for the 14th time in program history, but for the first since the 1996-97 season. SHU leads the all-time series 9-4.
SETON HALL STATUS
Seton Hall advanced to the second round fo the WNIT by holding off American University 63-60 on Thursday night in Walsh Gym. The Pirates were powered by Bra'Shey Ali, who posted a double-double with 18 points and a career-high 20 rebounds in the win. SHU has won three-straight first round WNIT games but the Pirates will be looking for their first-ever trip to the third round of the tournament.
Princeton finished second in the Ivy League standings to earn at automatic berth into the WNIT field. The Tigers pulled away from VCU, 94-76, in their opening round win at home on Thursday night. The balanced Tigers have four players averaging double figures and their 47.3 shooting percentage from the field ranks seventh in the nation. Princeton averages 75.8 ppg and the first round WNIT win over VCU represented the fifth time this season the Tigers have scored at least 90 points.
POSTSEASON QUICK HITS
- Seton Hall is making the sixth postseason appearance in program history and the Pirates are playing in the WNIT for the fourth time.
- The Pirates have been selected to participate in the postseason for the first time since 2007, which was the last time the Hall received an at-large WNIT berth.
- The other two postseason trips for the Seton Hall women's basketball program were back-to-back trips to the NCAA Tournament in 1993-94 and 1994-95.
- SHU has advanced to the second round of the WNIT in each of its last three appearances in the tournament.
- The Pirates are 3-0 at home in the WNIT and is hosting the second round for the first time.
- Seton Hall is 3-3 all-time in the WNIT and has never advanced past the second round of the tournament.
- SHU's all-time postseason record in the NCAA and WNIT is 6-5.
PIRATES AGAINST THE FIELD
Seton Hall has faced five teams that are participating in the 2014 WNIT in Butler, Creighton, Marquette, Stony Brook and Villanova. The Pirates have posted a 3-6 record this season against those teams, with victories against Marquette, Stony Brook and Villanova.
OPPONENTS IN THE POSTSEASON
Seton Hall has faced a total of 20 different opponents this season and nine of those foes have gone on to qualify for either the NCAA Tournament or the NIT. In addition to the five teams SHU faced that can also be found in the WNIT field of 64, DePaul, Fresno State, St. John's and South Carolina will compete in the NCAA Tournament. The Pirates are 4-12 overall in contests against squads that went on to play in the postseason.
BIG CONFERENCE SUCCESS STORY
The BIG EAST Conference will see seven of its 10 teams keep dancing into March in either the NCAA or WNIT Field. Seton Hall in addition to Butler, Creighton, Marquette and Villanova qualified for the WNIT, the second most schools from one conference in the field, trailing just the six from Conference USA. The five members of the BIG EAST playing in the WNIT combined to go 4-1 in the first round, with Marquette, Creighton and Villanova also advancing to the second round of the tournament. Additionally BIG EAST Champion DePaul along with St. John's University will open up competition in the NCAA Tournament this weekend.
Seton Hall is averaging 70.8 ppg this season. It is the first time since the 1993-94 season Seton Hall averaged more than 70.0 ppg, and that season SHU set a school record for 73.2 ppg, making the 2013-14 squad just 2.4 ppg short of the school record. The 70.8 ppg this season represents the third-highest single-game scoring average in program history.
ALI POWER HALL INTO SECOND ROUND
Bra'Shey Ali turned in the most impressive performance of her career with 18 points and 20 rebounds in a 63-60 win over American in the first round of the WNIT. It was Ali's team-leading ninth double-double of the season and the 20 rebounds represented a new career hight. Her 20 boards were the most for an SHU player since Tajay Ashmeade had 21 against William & Mary on Dec. 21, 2011.
Beating American 63-60 in the first round of the WNIT, Seton Hall improved to 14-5 at home this season and 10-0 against non-conference opponents on its home floor. With its 80-65 win over Stony Brook on Dec. 31, Seton Hall wrapped up non-conference play with a perfect 9-0 record in Walsh Gym. This marked the first time Seton Hall wrapped up its non-conference schedule without a blemish on its home record since 2008-09. That year the Pirates went 8-0 at home against non-BIG EAST foes.
Despite the close proximity of their two campuses, Seton Hall and Princeton have met just 13 times prior to Sunday afternoon. The last meeting was 18 years ago, a 53-34 Seton Hall victory on Nov. 30, 1996. Seton Hall and Princeton have played just once since 1987.
3-POINT RECORD FALLS
Hitting two 3-pointers against American on March 20, Tabatha Richardson-Smith broke the Seton Hall single-season 3-point field goal record. She has hit 75 of Seton Hall's 116 3-point field goals this season, and is averaging 2.4 3-pointers per game which ranks third in the BIG EAST.
Redshirt-freshman Sidney Cook has elevated her game for the Pirates during the postseason. She is averaging 9.3 points and shooting a team-best 57.1 percent from the field in three postseason games, compared to her 6.4 ppg and 32.5 percent shooting from the field for the season. Cook nearly posted a double-double with 12 points and eight rebounds in the win over Providence in the BIG EAST Tournament and had eight points and six boards against American.