VILLANOVA, PA (January 16, 2001) - Senior guard Arminda Moreno (Telde, Canary Islands) sank a pair of free throws with 2.6 seconds remaining to lift Seton Hall to a 52-50 win over Villanova in a BIG EAST women's basketball game at the Pavilion.
Seton Hall, which has won three straight, improves to 12-5 overall and 5-1 in BIG EAST play. The Pirates are off to their best start since the 1994-95 season in which they went 24-9. Picked 13th out of 14 teams in the BIG EAST preseason poll, Seton Hall is currently in second place behind Notre Dame.
Moreno, who was a perfect 4-for-4 from the line, also finished with game-highs of 16 points and eight rebounds.
The Pirates, who held a 25-22 lead at halftime, never trailed in the second half. A driving layup by junior guard Naimah Smith (Elizabeth, NJ) with 15:24 left gave Seton Hall its largest lead of the game - 37-26.
Villanova (12-4, 3-2 BIG EAST) slowly chipped away at the lead Freshman forward Courtney Mix scored on a layup with 1:47 left and then sank a pair of free throws with 56.9 seconds remaining to tie the game at 50. The Wildcats regained possession following a Seton Hall turnover, but sophomore forward Leslie Ardon (Trinite, French West Indies) blocked a 3-point attempt by Trish Juhline with 30 seconds left that would have given Villanova the lead.
Following a Villanova foul, Seton Hall inbounded the ball under its own basket with 3.8 seconds remaining. Moreno took the inbounds pass and was fouled on her shot attempt with 2.6 seconds left. She sank both shots to give the Pirates their third straight win by three points or less. Seton Hall defeated Pittsburgh 62-60 on Jan. 10 before rallying for a 56-53 win over Georgetown on Jan. 13.
Moreno was the only Seton Hall player in double figures. Seniors Devin Jefferson (Orange, NJ) and Starr Fuller (Boston, MA) along with Ardon finished with eight points each.
Trish Juhline led Villanova with 13 points while Mix and Brandi Barnes added 11 points each.
Seton Hall returns to action on Sunday, January 21 when the Pirates host third-ranked Notre Dame in a noon game at Walsh Gymnasium.