Tony Bozzella’s Seton Hall Pirates are back to winning ways after a 55-43 win over Providence on Friday night in Walsh Gymnasium.
Deja Winters emerged as the leading scorer for only the second time this season. The freshman posted a career-high 18 points, 16 of which came in the second half to help the Pirates secure victory over the Friars. Winters said the performance felt “good,” crediting her second half burst to extra time spent in the gym in the buildup to the game.
The game wasn’t one for many career-highs however, as scoring runs were few and far between throughout the game. Providence was able to find some semblance of rhythm sporadically through the likes of Portuguese forward Jovana ‘Yoyo’ Nogic, and Spanish guard Clara Che, each of whom scored in double figures for the Friars.
Seton Hall was able to establish the upper hand late in the first half when back-to-back baskets by the Pirates from JaQuan Jackson and Lubirdia Gordon helped the Pirates take a six-point lead.
Although, it was never smooth sailing for the Hall until the very end. Just when Seton Hall took its largest lead of the game with three minutes to play in the third, Nogic responded for Providence with five points to cut the lead in half.
The fourth quarter was where Seton Hall ensured its second positive result in eight Big East contests. The Pirates scored eight of the first ten points of the fourth quarter, with the offense showing prolonged fluidity for the first time in the game.
Jackson was second on the team in both points, 12, and assists, three. The message from the junior after the game centered on the importance of controlling what the team can control: defense.
“We just needed to step it up, and just play big really,” Jackson said. “Focus on what we can control. Just playing defense, offense will come to you.”
The Pirates will face the Creighton Bluejays Sunday in Walsh Gymnasium. The Bluejays are receiving votes for the AP Top 25, and have three scorers who average double figures in Audrey Faber, Marissa Janning and Brianna Rollerson. Tip-off is set for 11 a.m.
James Justice can be reached at email@example.com or on Twitter @JamesJusticeIII.