Women’s basketball holds off NJIT in season opener
After taking back the lead early in the second half, the Pirates held off NJIT to grab the win in the season opener, 69-66, despite NJIT tying it up multiple times with only minutes left in the game.
In a game that consisted of 10 lead changes and seven ties, the Pirates had to fight throughout the entirety of the game.
“I knew NJIT had a lot of talent, but I was a little unsure of what to expect tonight,” head coach Anne Donovan said. “I was really pleased with how the girls came out without much of a scouting report.”
The Hall had a three point lead with two minutes left in the game, but Sarah Olson of NJIT hit her fourth three of the game to tie it back up.
This began the back and forth where Brittany Webb scored her second straight layup to put Seton Hall back up two. On the next possession though, Webb committed a technical foul that put Olson on the line to tie the game once again.
With 31 seconds left in the game, Alexandra Maseko was fouled giving her the chance to put the Hall back on top. She went 1-2 from the line, but that was all the team needed to take the lead and the win.
With her team down 27-22 after the first half, Donovan spoke to her team about taking more high percentage shots at halftime after going 0-6 from behind the arc in the half.
“They were sitting in a zone so we knew that we needed to have some inside touch,” Donovan said. “We have two transfers coming in with Johnson and Webb who are both somewhat tentative in their first game here. You saw what Webb was capable of in the second half and we are going to need more of that moving forward.”
The Pirates were led by senior Brittany Morris who had 15 on the game and scored the first points for the Pirates on the season. Redshirt sophomore Ka-Deidre Simmons added 12 points and a team-high four assists.
“No one works harder than (Simmons) does, losing her last year was a huge blow to us,” Donovan said. “Now she comes back as a limited experience player, who is still a captain for us, who has a lot on her shoulders.”
This was Simmons’ first game since the 2010-2011 season due to an injury that forced her to redshirt last season.
“It feels great to be back in this season,” Simmons said. “My teammates gave me confidence and told me to let the game come to me and they helped me get through this game.”
NJIT was led by forward Rayven Johnson, someone Donovan considered a “tough guard” for her team, who had a game-high 19 points.
The Pirates will return to play on Sunday Nov. 11 in the Walsh Gymnasium at 2 p.m. to take on Lafayette.
Stephanie Vedral can be reached at Stephanie.Vedral@student.shu.edu.