Game preview: Seton Hall plays Vanderbilt in the final game of the Junkanoo JamDate: November 29, 2019
By: Heaven Hill
After a lopsided loss yesterday to Georgia Tech 79-54, dropping them to 4-3, the Pirates look to snap their two-game losing streak against the Vanderbilt Commodores tonight in the third place game of the Junkanoo Division at the Junkanoo Jam in the Bahamas.
Despite the tough result to the Yellow Jackets in their previous outing, there were at least some bright spots for Seton Hall to look back on. For starters, they scored the most points Georgia Tech allowed all season, with the Ramblin’ Wreck coming into last night’s game with the top-ranked scoring defense in the nation.
Also, Georgia Tech came into last night’s game outscoring their opponents by 79 points in the second half, but Seton Hall was only down 10 points entering the final period. Alexis Lewis continued her hot streak from downtown, adding four threes, and Desiree Elmore and Selena Philoxy played solid as well. Of course, the final result ended up getting a little out of hand, but this game wasn’t a complete wash for the Pirates.
Looking ahead to Vanderbilt, who are now 5-2 after suffering a tight loss to Rutgers 62-56 yesterday, this appears to be another difficult matchup for the Hall defensively. For starters, their only other loss this year came to the perennially dominant UConn Huskies, so this could’ve very easily been a one-loss Vandy team. Also, The Commodores come into this one with a top-40 scoring defense, only allowing under 55 points per game.
Finally, the Black and Gold play in the rugged Southeastern Conference with ranked powerhouses like South Carolina, Texas A&M and Kentucky, so this team is undoubtedly battle tested. Compared to the Big East where only DePaul is ranked, this game should be an interesting test of who wants it more between the two squads.
Looking closer at the Commodores’ roster, they are led by senior Mariella Fasoula. After making the All-SEC Second Team last season and being named to the Lisa Leslie Award watch list to start the year, she’s started this year averaging 15 points and about seven rebounds. However, she has just seven assists to a whopping 18 turnovers, so it’ll be interesting to see if the Pirate defense can get some takeaways early and often against the frontcourt powerhouse. Vandy has three other players averaging double figures as well in Brinae Alexander, Koi Love and LeaLea Carter, so this is a deep and experienced team that Seton Hall will have to overcome.
Finally, focusing more on the stifling Vanderbilt defense, this is a team that forces 20 turnovers per game and snags over 10 steals per game. Lead by Jordyn Cambridge who already has 25 steals in just seven games, this is an intelligent team that is dangerous in the passing lanes, so look for Seton Hall’s Lauren Park-Lane to be extra cautious handling the ball in half court sets.
Seton Hall looks to snag a third-place finish in the Junkanoo Division of the tournament with a win tonight, and you can find coverage of this matchup on wsou.net, with Wilnir Louis and Chris Russo on the call in the Bahamas.
Heaven Hill can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.