"I would not want to play us in the Big East Tournament"

Seton Hall coach Anne Donovan believes the Seton Hall Pirates will not be an easy out in the Big East Tournament.

SOUTH ORANGE, NJ - That quote comes not from Storrs or South Bend. Rather, its origination was South Orange. Seton Hall coach Anne Donovan made the statement shortly after a regular season ending loss to Louisville, 63-53 at Walsh Gym on Monday.

"We can mix up defense to keep people off balance," Donovan said. "Our kids play hard and a few times we were right there but came up short. If we shoot the ball better, we are competitive."

Louisville coach Jeff Waltz has no argument.

Walz' Cardinals enjoyed double digit leads as high as 18 points in the second half. By the stretch run of the final two minutes it was a two possession game with Louisville clinging to a slight lead.

"Seton Hall has some talented kids and they battle," Walz said. "They have had a number of games where they needed that one extra stop or one more basket. It reminds me of our 14-18 season. When you get in those close games and need a play, it seems like you never get it. When you are playing well, you get that stop or basket. That's just the way it goes but Seton Hall can give you problems."

Entering the game against Louisville, the Big East record for Seton Hall was 1-15. In those prior contests, the Hall averaged 63 possessions per game. The Cardinals came in, a quicker 69 possessions average.

The efficiency:

Offensive Eff.

Defensive Eff.

Seton Hall


79


101


Louisville


93


91


In their lone conference win, a 63-39 triumph at Pitt last Saturday, Seton Hall enjoyed a 97-60 edge in offensive efficiency. A plus 37 in efficiency margin (offense minus defensive efficiency). Quite a difference for a Seton Hall team showing a -22 margin on the Big East.

What the Cards did well. In Walz' estimation, defend for 34 minutes. As noted it got a little anxious in the final minutes. But the majority of the game saw tough Louisville defense, as the final efficiency numbers attest to:

Possessions

Offensive Eff.

Louisville


66


96


Seton Hall


69


77


Louisville also did a sold job in the paint, It wasn't simply a matter of size. The Cardinals enjoyed a 30-20 scoring advantage in the paint thanks to cutting, movement and pin point passing.

"All week, "Walz said, "we emphasized moving without the ball."

What Seton Hall did well. Compete and force turnovers. As noted the Pirates battled back from a double digit deficit. Part of the reason was a defensive effort, especially the last ten minutes, that forced Louisville into a 29% turnover rate. Rebounding on the offensive end was another Seton Hall asset. The Pirates led 18-9 in offensive boards enjoying a 38-32% edge in offensive rebounding percentage. Tajay Ashmeade of the Hall grabbed eight rebounds off the offensive glass.

Jasmine Crew led Seton Hall with 20 points. Crew shot 7 of 26 from the floor and, to no surprise, was the primary option. Long distance threat Terry Green scored 15 points but fouled out with 1:08 remaining as the Hall was making a final run.

Shawnta Dyer shot 9 of 10, leading all scorers with 22 points. Louisville teammate Becky Burke added 17 points.

The Cardinals finished 10-6 in the Big East. Kurz looks forward to the tournament in Hartford.

"I'm excited," Kurz said. "We had DePaul, UCONN and Notre Dame this month. It hasn't been the easiest road. We will be off tomorrow and get back to work on Wednesday before heading to Hartford. We're excited about the tournament."

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