Desiree Elmore and Shadeen Samuels stepped up when it mattered most for the Seton Hall women’s basketball team on Sunday afternoon, as the duo led the way for the Pirates in their 79-73 win over Providence.
Samuels stuffed the stat sheet for a second straight game, this time with 19 points, 10 rebounds, and five assists. Elmore contributed a season high 16 points.
The two were especially key in the fourth quarter. Down 58-56 after a Providence bucket to open the final frame, the Pirates tied the game on a shot from Selena Philoxy down low, and then Elmore and Samuels took over.
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Elmore, who averages only seven points a game this season, had ten points alone in the fourth quarter on an array of post moves and even added a layup by blowing past Providence’s Alyssa Samuels Samuels had four points in the fourth and was a consistent presence all game, knocking down mid-range jumpers, finding open teammates for layups, and dominating the glass.
The post presence of Elmore and Samuels led to a key turning point in the game, which was Providence’s Mary Baskerville fouling out with 1:58 still to play in the contest.
The Pirates’ backcourt of Inja Butina and Nicole Jimenez also put up impressive numbers in the victory. Jimenez, a sharpshooter from three-point range, had 19 points, including four hits from beyond the arc. Jimenez also added three steals. Butina, the Pirates’ floor general, scored 11 points and dished out five assists.
Sunday’s win, however, was not without its difficulties for the Pirates. Much of the first half was controlled by Providence, who jumped out to early 10-4 and 21-16 leads. The Pirates took their first lead in the second quarter at 26-25 on a free throw by Samuels.
Providence quickly responded by regaining a five point lead at 33-28, but Seton Hall roared back with a 10-0 run that spanned the last seven minutes of the second quarter, spurred on by clutch three-pointers from Kaity Healy and Jimenez.
With the win, the Pirates improved their record to 11-5 overall and 3-2 in conference play. The team’s next test will be Jan. 18 at 12:30 p.m. against Marquette.
Matthew Collins can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.