Pirates using offensive stability to find early success

As the Seton Hall women’s basketball team hits the meat of its non-conference schedule, there are plenty of things to be pleased with regarding the team’s play.

Head coach Anthony Bozzella has led his Pirates to a 4-0 start for the first time in four years. This year has been different for Seton Hall, as the team has found success in a variety of ways compared to years past. This season’s squad has been dominant offensively and has seen production from several new faces, both old and new.

Through four games in 2018-19, the Pirates have scored an astounding 351 points, good for 93.7 points per game. This is a large jump from 2017-18, where the Pirates started out scoring only 81.5 points per game through four games. The same holds true for just two seasons ago, as Seton Hall could only manage 69.5 points per game in its routine first three contests.

Photo via SHU Athletics

The Pirates’ offensive dominance has come via efficiency in all categories. The team is shooting a remarkable near-50 percent from the field, up from 42 percent last season. Beyond the arc, Seton Hall has found success as well, hitting 36 percent of its shots. Last season, the Pirates only mustered up 34 percent in that category.

The four-game slate is rightfully a small sample size to base the team’s performance off of, but if it can continue, the Pirates will certainly be on the path to revitalization. Bozzella has pushed for a high-octane, quick offensive strategy, which has paid dividends thus far, but it will need to continue for Seton Hall to stay on the right track.

A large part of Seton Hall’s success from deep this season has been Victoria Cardaci. After a revered tenure at Clemson, Cardaci came to the Pirates as a graduate student for the 2018-19 season, and she has been an essential part of the team’s offense thus far.

Against Wagner on Nov. 6, Cardaci put up seven three-pointers, which tied Seton Hall’s single-game school record.

Cardaci has cooled down slightly since that performance, but with an average of 9.3 points per game, she has been integral to Seton Hall’s early season success.

Alongside Cardaci, another reason for Seton Hall’s high-powered offensive start has been forwards Femi Funeus and Shadeen Samuels. Funeus, a freshman, and Samuels, a junior, have combined to be a formidable one-two punch up front that Bozzella has relied upon heavily.

Through the first four games, Samuels leads all scorers with 73 points. Funeus is second on the team with 45.

Funeus and Samuels have driven the offense, and the Pirates have found themselves struggling when neither is on the floor. For a team that has relied heavily on guards in the past, it is a nice change of pace for Bozzella to shift his offense to a different modem.

Funeus, Samuels, and the rest of Seton Hall’s frontcourt also provide for second chance opportunities. In the four games, the team is averaging 40.5 rebounds, as opposed to averaging less than 36 rebounds last season.

Elmore, Funeus and Samuels have combined for 70 of the team’s 143 rebounds this season. Selena Philoxy has been a large part of this effort, too, as she has come down with 24 rebounds.

Seton Hall will need to continue its tenacious efforts on the offensive side of the ball if it wants to find success this season. Led by the likes of Cardaci, Elmore, Funeus and Samuels, and with Bozzella at the helm, the program is lined up to have a strong campaign.

Kevin Kopf can be reached kevin.kopf@student.shu.edu or on Twitter @KMKTNF.

Author: Kevin Kopf

Share This Post On

Submit a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Pin It on Pinterest

Share This