Pirates win third straight inside Walsh in convincing fashion

The Seton Hall women’s basketball team picked up their fifth win of the season on Thursday against the Marist Red Foxes. Despite a close encounter inside Walsh Gymnasium in the early going, the Pirates followed a similar formula to previous games and won convincingly: 85-60.

The Hall had strong performances from a number of players, but pacing the Pirates was Taylor Brown who posted 16 points, five offensive rebounds, and three steals.

Photo via SHU Athletics

After a more tightly contested first quarter, the Hall blew their lead up to a 25-point margin in the second quarter, allowing them to take a 47-22 lead into halftime.

It was a second quarter in which the Pirates quality of depth shined through, as regardless of who checked in, the Pirates maintained their defensive shape.

“I think we just kept the pressure on,” head coach Tony Bozzella said. “We have a very good bench. Everyone says, ‘oh you got five starters.’ We have a lot more than five starters. We have a lot of really good players. They just keep wearing you down and sooner or later, if we keep the defensive intensity up, the other team is going to struggle and turn the ball over a few times.”

One of the major contributing factors to building the lead and securing the win was a staple of the Pirates play-style: turning defense into offense.

Seton Hall pressured hard at half-court and forced 19 steals on the night. That defense was translated into scoring, as the Pirates outscored Marist in points-off-turnovers by a 32-15 margin.

Kaela Hilaire started the game on the bench, but finished with a game-high five steals. The sophomore guard felt that herself, along with the other players that came off the bench, contributed to the Pirates lockdown defense.

“The energy definitely comes from the bench,” Hilaire said. “They help to get steals and play really good defense. The defense makes it easier for us to score on offense. Once we get one steal it hypes us up more and more.”

As great as the Hall were in the backcourt, in the front-court the Pirates were dominant, as they pulled in a season-high 46 rebounds, 22 of which came on the offensive end.

Seton Hall’s versatile attack was displayed in its well-rounded offensive production, as five different Seton Hall players broke double-digits. Jaquan Jackson and Inja Butina each scored three from beyond the arc to help the Pirates maintain their lead throughout.

With the win, the Hall rise to a 5-1 overall record and 4-1 record at home. Marist, on the other hand, drops to 1-6 in this early part of the season.

The Pirates will return to action on Saturday, Dec. 2 at 1 p.m. when they play the fifth and final game of this most recent home-stretch, against St. Francis of New York.

Kyle Kasharian can be reached at Kyle.kasharian@student.shu.edu or on Twitter @itskylekash.