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Seton Hall WBB Displays Resilience in Loss to DePaul

Coming off an impressive 72-60 victory over Marquette on Friday night at the Walsh Gymnasium where the duo of Alexis Lewis and Shadeen Samuels combined to score 45 points, the Seton Hall Pirates (15-9, 8-5 Big East) women’s basketball team returned to action at home taking on a potent DePaul (22-3, 12-1 Big East) team that is ranked 14th in the country and averaging near 85 points per game. The Blue Demons won the game 86-76.


Early on, both teams’ kept trading baskets but the headline story would be the play from DePaul Chante Stonewall who erupted for 11 points in the first quarter including four trifectas as the Blue Demons led 27-21 at the end of the frame.


The Pirates responded with a 5-0 run in the second, trimming the deficit to 32-28 with seven minutes remaining before halftime.


However, there was no cooling off DePaul from beyond the arc as three more triples pushed the advantage to 46-38 with less than two minutes left. Stonewall, meanwhile, continued to dominate, tallying 13 more points on 10 of 14 shooting from the field as the Blue Demons carried a 50-40 lead into the locker room.


DePaul shot a sizzling 55 percent from the field in the first half while leading in rebounds 25-10 and scored 19 points off of nine Pirates turnovers plus eight second-chance points. Seton Hall held an 11-8 advantage in fast-break points.


Finishing up with seven points in the first half, Pirates freshman guard Mya Jackson caught fire in the third quarter netting five points in the first 47 seconds. “Mya [Jackson] is a tremendous player, competitor and prepares herself and those things are really important,” said Seton Hall Head Coach Anthony Bozzella. Shadeen Samuels matched her halftime total with nine points in the third including a lay-up with four minutes to go that gave Seton Hall the lead for the first time since the first quarter at 57-56. The back and forth action continued as DePaul answered back with an 8-4 run to close out the quarter.


With Samuels exiting the contest after her fourth foul with less than nine minutes to go, the Pirates refused to throw in the white towel as Lewis canned a trey to make it 69-66 with eight and minutes on the clock. “I thought the turning point was Shadeen’s fourth foul,” Bozzella said, “A really tough call and we were basically winning the game whenever she was in and now she is out and hurts a lot. We’re up three and when comes back in we are down seven.”


Jasmine Smith made it a one-point game at 72-71 on a fast break lay-up with six-minutes remaining. Just when it appeared Seton Hall poised for a big run, the Blue Demons dashed those hopes draining back-to-back three’s to extend the margin. At the end, DePaul hit five of six free throws to seal the 86-76 victory.


Jackson delivered a game-high 19 points, Samuels added 18 and Desiree Elmore contributed 13 to go along with a team-high 7 rebounds. For DePaul, Stonewall led five players in double figures with 29 points and 10 rebounds. The Pirates won the fast-break points 26-7 and bench points 26-7 while the Blue Demons held the points in paint 34-32, points off turnovers 28-20 and second-chance points 16-1.


“I thought our kids played with a lot of heart and toughness,” Bozzella said, “It was hard coming off a physical game on Friday and what makes our league so tough. You have to give DePaul credit, we cut it to one and our crowd was great, and we just could not get over the hump. We cut it to one and had a late chance. We get them to miss, they get a rebound and hit a big three after that.”


“We have to figure out how to win some games.” “We’re a good team and proud of the girls for never giving up and coming back.” Coming out for the third quarter we scored seven straight points and we’re back in the game, Bozzella said, “A tremendous crowd, credit to our school and our kids. We play an exciting style, come out and play hard. It was packed and the program is in good shape as it has ever been because we have good players and kids. We compete and it wasn’t like that when we took over”


“I’m not upset with the three-point defense, they were 12 of 37 rather than 9 of 20. We went zone and got them out of rhythm and they only go 5 for 20 in the second half and still not enough,” Bozzella said, “The problem is we got outrebounded 47-24 and two measly offensive rebounds all game and can’t happen and just very frustrating. We were right there and so close. You have to rebound the ball and try to emphasize that. It’s not because we were too small or big. They had the tenacity to go after the rebound and is incredible.”


“We have to bounce back and play like we did with the same intensity and toughness.” We played great at times today, they are 22-3 and 14th in the country,” Bozzella said, “This is not a sub team and you are playing one of the best teams’ in the country, well-coached and tough. We have to do a better job of boxing out, going after the ball and being aggressive.”


The Pirates hit the road for the next three games, starting on Friday at Providence (10-14, 1-11 Big East) with an 11:30 a.m. tip-off and then flying out to Nebraska to take on Creighton (15-8, 7-5 Big East) on Sunday at 2:00 p.m. Back on January 19th Seton Hall crushed the Friars 97-55.


“We have a tough game at Providence on Friday and at Creighton on Sunday and have to win those games,” Bozzella said, “If we win those games we give ourselves a chance to finish in second. If we lose those games we give ourselves a chance to finish in seventh and what makes this league so tough.”

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Sunil Sunder Raj

Since July of 2014 Sunil Sunder Raj has been with In The Zone. Sunil has experience covering minor league baseball, high school and college sports. A beat writer for the Rockland Boulders for six years, Ramapo College men’s basketball for four years, NJIT men’s basketball and Seton Hall women’s basketball. Now focusing on feature articles about athletes, coaches and sports media professionals. A graduate of Ramapo College of New Jersey with a bachelor of arts degree in journalism.
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