The Seton Hall women’s basketball team came away with three victories after a nine-day trip to Canada that included five exhibition games against some of the country’s top universities.
The Pirates went 3-2 on the tour. The team, which features seven incoming freshmen and eight new players overall, played in Montreal and Ottawa and also had several opportunities to bond off the court.
The Pirates’ first game was a 99-53 victory over the Montreal Select Team on Aug. 8. JaQuan Jackson led the way with 22 points and seven rebounds, while Martha Kuderer also chipped in with 18 points.
The Pirates would fall to both McGill University on Aug. 9 and Laval University on Aug. 10, 80-56 and 68-59, respectively. Head Coach Tony Bozzella said the losses helped his group in the long run.
“We weren’t setting out to win each [but] game rather figure out our potential and learn to play consistently,” he said. “The losses made us realize we needed to play better in order to be successful, and that lesson was learned later on.”
Seton Hall rebounded from the two losses on the Ottawa leg of its foreign trip, defeating the University of Ottawa 75-61 on Aug. 10. They then took down Carleton University the next day in dramatic fashion.
Down by two with 13 seconds to play, Deja Winters hit a corner three-pointer that allowed the Pirates to pull ahead. Kuderer then grabbed a board on the defensive end, and proceeded to hit two final free throws to secure a 67-64 victory.
— SHU W Basketball (@SHUWBB) August 14, 2016
“We had some adverse feelings after the losses that saw our toughness tested,” Bozzella said. “We played within ourselves, we felt comfortable, and played really good defense against these better teams. Our last game was a tremendous effort.”
Bozzella said he was happy to see his players not only learn on the trip, but grow closer as teammates too.
“The girls had more energy as the days went on. It’s tough to be away for nine days but the culture and team bonding was fantastic. I saw the girls tearing up and hugging each other while they’ll see each other in just two weeks,” Bozzella said.
The team will have 24 days off after coming back home until they return to practice on campus. The Pirates’ first game will be an exhibition match at Walsh Gymnasium on Nov. 5 when they take on Philadelphia University.
Matt Lamb can be reached by email at email@example.com or on Twitter @MattLammo.