The Seton Hall women’s basketball team defeated Jefferson, 95-81, in an exhibition game on Thursday night. The game was the sole exhibition game before the Pirates start their regular season against Wagner on Tuesday.
The Pirates started off the game rusty, but they soon amped up the pace as they went on a 16-5 run within the first five minutes. The team continued to dominate the first quarter, as its largest lead was 17. The Pirates’ charge was led by Shadeen Samuels, who had 11 points and two steals in the first quarter.
As Jefferson closed the deficit to single digits, Seton Hall’s Victoria Cardaci hit a three-pointer to stop the bleeding. With 3:19 left in the first half, Jefferson hit a three-pointer to cut the Pirate lead to 10. However, a minute later, Cardaci pulled up from three yet again to give Seton Hall a 48-35 lead.
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The first half concluded with the Pirates leading 50-41. Cardaci led the Pirates with 17 points, going 50 percent from beyond the arc. Samuels also had 13 points, six rebounds, and four assists. However, the Pirates were in foul trouble, as they had five players with three fouls.
The Pirates’ foul troubles worsened at the start of the second half as Cardaci, the team’s leading scorer at the time, picked up her fourth foul and went to the bench. As the Pirates pulled ahead 64-47 early in the third quarter, Samuels picked up her fourth foul and also sat on the bench. With its top two scorers in foul trouble, Seton Hall still managed to rattle off a 17-6 run to end the quarter.
The Pirates were outscored 28-14 in the fourth quarter, but their lead was large enough to hold off Jefferson. Cardaci led the Pirates with 20 points, and Femi Funeus also had a double-double off the bench.
After the game, head coach Anthony Bozzella commented on the things he would like to see improve despite the team’s impressive performance.
“Our margin for error is small,” Bozzella said. “We obviously have to play at a high pace offensively. We got to find a better identity defensively, and we got to, as a staff, define what are weaknesses are and fix them.”
Bozzella also pointed out that the team’s three-point percentage is something that he would like to see improve.
The team’s first regular season game of the year will be on Nov. 6 against Wagner.
Joseph Ippolito can be reached at email@example.com or on Twitter @joeippy.