Pirates pick up 95-69 win over Sacred Heart in the first gameDate: November 6, 2019
By: Jorie Mickens
The Seton Hall Pirates took down the Sacred Heart Pioneers 95-69 in their first game of the season Wednesday night in the Walsh Gymnasium. The Pirates now have a 1-0 record on the season.
There is plenty of hype surrounding this Pirates team. They were projected to finish third in the Big East this season in the Big East Women’s Basketball Preseason Coaches’ Poll. Third in the Big East is the highest ranking the Pirates have received since head coach Anthony Bozzella was hired for the 2013-14 season. With many returnees from last year’s squad, and a group of talented newcomers, this Pirates team will have a large target on their back in the Big East.
In the first half, the Pirates got off to a commanding 14-5 lead on the backs of senior and Big East Preseason Player of the Year Shadeen Samuels and Preseason All-Big East selection Desiree Elmore. The Pirates forced 15 turnovers in the first half, an incredible feat considering this Pioneers team averaged only 13.8 turnovers per game last season.
The biggest storyline though was the play of freshman guard Mya Jackson. Jackson finished the half with 16 points and shot 4/5 from three, and she did not even start in the game. Samuels was second in scoring for the Pirates at halftime with 11 points and freshman guard Lauren Park-Lane lead the team with three assists at the half.
In the second half, Elmore came alive in the third quarter. She scored five straight points for the Pirates during the quarter and finished the quarter with 10 points, nearing eclipsing her average of 10.3 points per game last season. Alexis Lewis nailed a three-pointer to end the third quarter and the Pirates were leading 73-47 heading into the fourth quarter.
In the fourth, the Pirates poured in three straight threes during the fourth quarter and ramped up their defensive pressure, getting nine steals and one block in the fourth quarter alone. The Pirates brought in their reserves with around two minutes left in the game and maintained their lead until the buzzer, winning 95-69.
In talking to assistant coach Lauren DeFalco, she was not particularly pleased with the Pirates performance. “This was probably the worst 30-point win I’ve seen. We just won because they were missing players, we did not do anything we were supposed too defensively, and we struggled offensively. As a coaching staff, it’s not a good win for us.”
In preparation for Saturday’s game against Fairfield, DeFalco said, “We need to be a much more discipline team defensively, and offensively we need to get back to sharing the basketball and making the extra pass. We played too much into the hype, we need to get back to what we were doing offensively and defensively.”
Elmore lead the Pirates with 20 points in the game and shot 7-8 from the free throw line. Samuels had a double-double with 15 points and 14 rebounds and freshman Jackson scored 16 points and shot 4/6 from the three-point line in just 17 minutes of play.
The Pirates play their next game this Saturday, November 9, against Fairfield University in the Walsh Gymnasium at 11:00 a.m. Bob Towey and Jorie Mickens will be on the call, tune in to 89.5 FM WSOU Saturday morning from some more Pirates’ basketball.
Jorie Mickens can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.