The Seton Hall women’s basketball team announced last week that its leader this season in minutes, points and rebounds, Donnaizha Fountain, will no longer be a part of the program.
The shocking news came on the heels of Seton Hall’s grudge-match with St. John’s on Jan. 21 in Walsh Gymnasium. However, the team had known about Fountain’s departure since the middle of last week. Seton Hall went on to win their first game without Fountain, 62-57 and improved to 4-5 in the Big East.
The 6 foot forward, formerly of Temple and Georgia Tech, arrived in South Orange this summer after signing as a graduate transfer on Apr. 19. Fountain was putting together All-Big East caliber campaign, as her 15.5 points per game ranked seventh in the conference, while her 7.4 rebounds per game were sixth. Despite her personal success, Fountain will leave the Pirates after just 19 games in the blue and white.
Head coach Tony Bozzella spoke after the St. John’s game and stated that Fountain’s parting of ways had to do with the team and the player no longer being on the same page.
“It’s unfortunate,” Bozzella said. “We sat down this week, Donnaizha and I, and it just wasn’t the right fit anymore, so we decided to move on.”
The Pirates already showed in their first game without Fountain that they are capable of finding a new winning formula. The victory on Jan. 21 gave Seton Hall their first two-game winning streak of conference play, with a .500 record in conference within touching distance.
Still, replacing a player who was as impactful as Fountain will require players to take on a bigger responsibility. According to assistant coach Lauren DeFalco, one of those players is Seton Hall’s leading scorer from last season: JaQuan Jackson.
“[Jackson] was our most important player last year,” DeFalco said. “She knows now that she now needs to play well for us to be successful.”
Bozzella went on to wish Fountain the best, despite things not ending on the best note.
“I wish her well; she is a great kid, and, it just wasn’t working out,” Bozzella said. “She will do real well in her next endeavor I’m sure.”
James Justice can be reached at email@example.com or on Twitter @JamesJusticeIII.