In a matinee matchup with 600 children spectators, the Seton Hall women’s basketball team eased by LIU Brooklyn with a final score of 77-59. Four Pirates reached double figures in the score column to collectively shoot 50 percent from the floor.
The first half saw the Pirates’ offense take off in a way not seen yet this season. The Pirates opened up on a tear, shooting eight of 10 from the floor before the first media timeout. That offense did not stop, as the team finished the first quarter with a comfortable 24-10 lead. At halftime, the Pirates made a statement with a 50-27 lead. Although three Pirates were already in double figures, the team’s impressive ball movement and ability to create for their teammates was the key.
Pirate’s coach Tony Bozzella was pleased with his team’s first half.
“I thought the girls came out with a lot of energy and made the game plan look good right away,” Bozzella said. “This was the most we have shared the ball in the first half all year.”
The Pirates were led by redshirt junior guard JaQuan Jackson, who finished with a game high 19 points. Senior center Lubirdia Gordon and sophomore guard Latecia Smith also shot well, the former finishing with 15 points and the latter with 12. Smith also notched her first double-double of the season. Although freshman point guard Kaela Hilaire could not find her shooting rhythm, her teammates ensured she would not have to. Instead, she dished out nine assists to pace the Pirates’ ball movement.
Freshman forward Shadeen Samuels was the breakout player, finishing with 18 points off the bench in only 13 minutes played.
Smith was not only impressed with her team on both sides of the court.
“We played great defense which set our offense up,” Smith said. “Gaining the momentum early was good for us, so we had to take advantage of it.”
Bozzella was also impressed with his team, specifically with the improvement.
“We have a lot of players to use now,” Bozzella said. “If you aren’t playing good today, then it’s someone else’s turn. Shadeen showed today that it was her turn. Another day it can be someone else, but I am proud of the kids for that.”
The Pirates will travel to New Brunswick next to take on in-state rival Rutgers on Tuesday, Dec. 13.
Andrew Lombardo can be reached at email@example.com or on Twitter @Anlombardo8.