Hilaire leads Pirates past UMass Lowell, 90-57Date: November 27, 2018
By Evando Thompson
The Seton Hall women’s basketball team defeated UMass Lowell, 90-57, to remain unbeaten at home and move to 6-1 on the season.
Seton Hall played its first game without senior guard Inja Butina (concussion), and the team transitioned seamlessly.
Junior guard Kaela Hilaire received her first start of the season and capitalized on the opportunity. Hilaire matched last game’s career-high of nine assists and had 11 points and seven dimes at halftime.
Head coach Tony Bozella spoke highly of the patience Hilaire has developed since arriving at Seton Hall. “She playing to have everyone around her be successful now,” said Bozella. “Obviously, the level of the teams we’re playing are not Big East level, but it is all in the mindset. She has all the ability and just has to keep that mindset – if she keeps it, she’ll be successful.”
One of Hilaire’s first half assists was a pass to sharpshooter Victoria Cardaci to close the first quarter. Cardaci received the pass while being contested and drained the jumper from well beyond the three-point line. Cardaci would finish with five first-half threes and 18 points on the night.
The Pirates’ offense was not as potent as the stellar three-point shooting of the first half, but continued to play stifling defense.
UMass Lowell had only 27 points at halftime and at one point in the game, Seton Hall had double their points as the score was 36-72. The River Hawks had three players in double figures but failed to score more than 20 points in any quarter.
Although Bozella is impressed with the run-and-gun offense they have developed, he still would like to see more points generated in the paint. “We have to upgrade our points in the paint and we really tried to focus on this in our one day of practice for this game,” said Bozella. “We’ve got to get the ball in there more, establish position and score.”
Up next for the Pirates is the third game of their three-game home stand, as they faceoff against St. Peter’s. Tip-off is scheduled for Dec. 2, at 1 p.m. in Walsh Gymnasium.
Evando Thompson can be reached at email@example.com.