The Seton Hall women’s basketball team kicked off its season with a home victory over Saint Peter’s University by a score of 91-49.
Both sides struggled early, with the Pirates missing their first ten field goals and Saint Peter’s shooting around 20 percent near the end of the first quarter.
“Obviously we were a little nervous to start. We got a lot of new kids,” coach Tony Bozzella said. “We start the game 1-14, but in the past, we’d be down a lot and hang our heads, but we didn’t.”
The Pirates had a flame lit underneath them by last year’s leading scorer JaQuan Jackson, who had 10 first-half points and was a sparkplug in getting the team out of its scoring drought.
The offensive story for Seton Hall, despite the all-around team contribution, was the 22-point debut performance for transfer graduate student Donnaizha Fountain.
After struggling early, Fountain stayed focused and managed to lead all scorers in the contest.
“I know better than to get down on myself after the first quarter of a four-quarter game,” Fountain said.
She attributed her ability to bounce back to the effort and success of her teammates.
“I get going from them,” Fountain said.
Seton Hall found success forcing contact and getting to the line, as they ended the game with 42 attempts, only converting on 26 of those shots from the charity stripe.
The Hall’s defense had a strong effort in terms of being both aggressive and patient.
On one hand, SHU prevented Saint Peter’s from having its first free throws until 9:12 remaining in the third quarter.
While they displayed patience in this capacity, the Hall also forced an efficient 33 turnovers on Saint Peter’s, which transferred into 43 points on plays from those turnovers.
“That’s how we’re gonna play,” Bozzella said. “We’re gonna get up, we’re gonna force turnovers, and we’re gonna play basketball that way.”
The dominant win shows the necessity for the Pirates to play an all-around team game, distributing the ball and letting teammates contribute.
“We need everybody,” Fountain said. “It’s not the Fountain show, it’s not a Jackson show, it’s not a Taylor Brown show. It’s a Seton Hall Pirate show.”
The Pirates will return to action on Sunday, Nov. 12 at 2 p.m. when they travel to North Carolina to take on Wake Forest.
Kyle Kasharian can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org or on Twitter @ItsKyleKash.