Recap: Baines' 20-Point Night Not Enough as Lions Stifle Pirates' Comeback

Date: November 19, 2022

By: Antonio Dunston

This article was written on Nov. 17, 2022

Azana Baines had herself a day on Thursday, but it just wasn't enough to get past the red-hot Lions.

Seton Hall Athletics

The Seton Hall women’s basketball team falls to 2-2 on the year as they catch another loss to an Ivy League opponent in the now 3-1 Columbia Lions, 83-76.

After a hot start to the season, with big wins over Saint Peter’s and Rutgers, the Pirates have now lost their second consecutive game. They fought back after falling behind early but gave the Lions that redemption they desperately craved after last season’s WNIT Quarterfinal loss.

Thursday night’s defeat saw senior Azana Baines erupt for 20 points and 10 rebounds, while Sidney Cooks added 15, Sha’Lynn Hagans scored 13, and Alexia Allesch contributed 11. Four double digit scorers still weren’t enough as the Lions hot shooting did enough to thwart any Seton Hall rally.

Columbia came out of the gates on fire, hitting all five threes of the quarter, and led by as many as 13 before the end of the first period to take a 21-8 lead. Baines and Bembry responded after a timeout with a few quick baskets and had them headed into the second down 25-14.

Hagans opened the second quarter with a layup to cut the deficit to nine, but the Lions added three more scores from long range, keeping the Pirates at bay.

The lowest scoring and highest turnover quarter by both teams directly influenced their respective offenses only being able to muster 13 points in the period, with the two exchanging buckets as they entered the locker room down 38-27 at halftime.

The third quarter is when The Hall finally outscored Columbia, proving the halftime adjustments did wonders for their offense and defense and sparked the beginning of their comeback attempt.

Columbia’s Abbey Hsu dropped 11 points in the quarter compared to Baines’ eight and Cooks’ seven, which kept their offense afloat and allowed them to maintain their lead over Seton Hall.

Even with 61.5% shooting from the field and all their free throw attempts, except two, coming in the quarter, the Hall could only manage to shrink the Lions lead to seven. Baines took over in the last two minutes, scoring the final six of seven points single-handedly, making the score 61-54.

The fourth quarter made things interesting as the game came down to the wire. The Pirates started a little slow to begin, allowing the lead to balloon back to 10, but rounded into form as Allesch scored the bulk of her points in the final period, putting up eight points.

Baines and Cooks both added four points and Park-Lane, Hagans, and Jala Jordan all contributed two apiece.

As quickly as Seton Hall took a 76-74 lead off a Hagans fastbreak layup, it was gone within seconds due to a Kitty Henderson three, marking the beginning of the end. The Pirates failed to score again over the final minute and a half after Columbia regained the reins.

The Lions closed out the game on a 9-0 run on the back of Henderson’s pivotal three pointer and Kaitlyn Davis’s six points in the remaining seconds. Columbia bizarrely outrebounded them by seven boards, visited the free throw line seven more times, and made seven more threes than them.

It was a valiant effort by the Pirates, having fallen behind early thanks to Columbia’s hot hand and clawing back the rest of the way. The main reason they lost was because they played right into the Lions strengths this year.

Rebounding and drawing fouls that send them to the line is their bread and butter, plus they have extreme confidence in their ability to win close games as every game they have won so far has been under eight points and is something Seton Hall has yet to prove this season in their two losses under eight points.

Columbia limited the duo of Park-Lane and Cooks to four points as they entered the half. They were forcing the ball out of Park-Lane’s hands and doubling her to hold her to just nine points on 3-12 shooting. Cooks got into some early foul trouble which took her off the court.

Davis had herself a game, grabbing the Columbia’s highest rebound total by far with 12 and provided 17 points with nine of them from the stripe. Hsu was their leading scorer with 19 and Hannah Pratt only managed to get 12 before she fouled out.

Even with this poor outcome, Baines was the lone positive for the Pirates, going off for a double-double off the bench as the team ponders her role moving forward.

If the Pirates want to ensure a bid to the NCAA Tournament, they must capitalize against the lesser opponents and learn how to win these close games. Head coach Anthony Bozzella acknowledges that he played the two best teams in the Ivy League back-to-back and must right the ship moving forward.

The Hall now looks ahead to their matchup against VCU on Nov. 24 at the 2022 Paradise Jam in the U.S. Virgin Islands, where Will Swankie and John Makuch will have the call right here on 89.5 FM WSOU.

Antonio Dunston can be reached at

Posted in: Sports, Women's Basketball

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