The Seton Hall women’s basketball team defeated the Providence Friars, 65-56, to pick up their first in-conference victory of the season on Friday night in Walsh Gymnasium.
Donnaizha Fountain had an especially memorable night, as she led the way with 20 points and 12 rebounds, while also registering her 1000th career point.
“It’s been a long time coming,” Fountain said on hitting the milestone. “It feels good.”
The Pirates and Friars battled closely in the opening quarter of the game. Seton Hall amounted a 14-7 lead, but went scoreless in the final three minutes of the quarter. Providence managed to hit a pair of layups in those final few minutes, which cut the lead down to 14-11 heading into the second quarter.
Seton Hall came out of the gate firing in the second quarter, going on a 12-3 run in the opening five minutes. The Pirates balanced their offense with stout defensive, as they held the Friars to just 23 points in the first half, and took a 33-23 lead into halftime.
The Hall continued to stretch its lead in the third quarter, leading by as much as 17 points at the 5:43 mark. The Friars did, however, work their way back in the final frame, as they cut the Pirates’ lead back to single digits on several occasions in the fourth quarter.
Seton Hall was able to rely on some clutch shots in the final three minutes which helped secure the nine-point victory.
JaQuan Jackson was second behind Fountain in terms of scoring for the Pirates, totaling 15 points, while going 3-for-8 from beyond the arc. Inja Butina also added eight points, and was a helping hand for her teammates with five assists.
Chanell Williams led the way for the Friars, scoring 16 points on 6-for-9 shooting. Meanwhile, Jovana Nogic – a preseason All-Big East Team player – was held to 13 points on 4-for-11 shooting.
With the win, the Pirates end an 0-3 start to the Big East slate. Head coach Tony Bozzella was glad that his team was able to get back on track with a win.
“I was really proud of the girls tonight,” Bozzella said. “We fought hard. We haven’t had too much time off and we fought through some fatigue.”
Bozzella mentioned that the way the team carried themselves ended up being the difference in the Pirates getting their first conference win.
“We got back to playing with a little bit of confidence,” Bozzella said. “I think that’s a big thing right now. I think confidence was hurting a little bit, and I thought that was important for us.”
The Pirates resume action on Sunday, Jan. 7 in Indianapolis, Ind., where they will face the Butler Bulldogs.
Matt Lapolla can be reached at Matthew.email@example.com or on Twitter @Matthew_Lapolla.