High-powered offense has women’s basketball off to fast start

The Seton Hall women’s basketball team has jumped out to a strong start this season thanks in large part to their improved, high-scoring offense.

Through their first seven games, the Pirates are 6-1, which is a notable improvement from the 2016-17 season in which they got out to a 4-3 start through the first seven games. The team’s explosive offense can be attributed to the improvements the Pirates are seeing on the court.

Photo via SHU Athletics

Through seven games last season, the Pirates had only scored 484 points. This season, the Pirates have already scored 568, making an 84-point difference. The spike in scoring has had a positive impact for the Pirates, leading to an improved record early on.

In the first seven games of the 2016-17 season, the Pirates won by an average of 10 points. This year, the team has won by 27.6 points, a 17-point difference between the two seasons.

When dissecting the average points per game, it is more evident how the team has taken a step up in scoring. Last year, the team scored 69.1 points per game, while this year the Pirates’ average is now 81.1.

That is 12 points higher this year, which has made a difference as Seton Hall is looking to bounce back from a losing season.

Individually, three players have stood out on the stat sheet, including two who did not take the floor for the Pirates a year ago. After sitting out last season, Taylor Brown has been an offensive powerhouse, leading the team with 14.4 points per game. Brown also leads the team in rebounds with 6.3 per game. Temple graduate transfer Donnaizha Fountain is also having a stellar season, averaging 13.6 points and 5.4 rebounds per game.

Along with the newcomers, senior sharpshooter JaQuan Jackson has been having an impressive season with 13.4 points per game. Jackson’s shots have been falling early on, as she is shooting 50 percent from the field and 47 percent from three-point range. The Pirates will need Jackson to continue her hot shooting going into conference play, as a shooter of her caliber could make the difference when playing against other Big East schools.

The three Pirates have led the charge for head coach Tony Bozzella through the first seven games, accounting for 290 of the team’s 568 points scores so far this season. While Brown, Fountain, and Jackson have been the standouts so far, the offense seems to improve with each passing game. On Dec. 2, the team shot over 60 percent for the first time since 1998 in a dominant win over St. Francis College.

The successful and driven offense shown by the Pirates this season has led to a fast start, with the team maintaining consistency. If the offense keeps firing on all cylinders as the season progresses, a trip back to the NCAA Tournament could become a possibility for Bozzella and his team.

Brittany Tomore is a journalism major from Middlesex, N.J. She can be reached at brittany.tomore@student.shu.edu or on Twitter @BrittTomore.