Pirates’ dominant homecourt performance secures bounce-back win

The Seton Hall women’s basketball team defeated Georgetown, 76-63, on Sunday afternoon with the aid of another 20-point performance from the team’s leading scorer Shadeen Samuels.

Samuels was hot from the opening tip, going 3-for-5 from beyond the arc on her way to 13 first half points. In the second half, it was more of the same as she guided the ship for the Pirates with timely steals and drawn fouls on the Hoyas. Samuels has now scored at least 15 points in nine of the last 10 games.

The recipe for a bounce-back win after a gut-wrenching loss to Villanova appeared to be easy for Seton Hall – shoot better from the field and share the ball more. The former was achieved by quadrupling last Friday’s total of three three-pointers made, and the latter also played a significant role, as the team assisted 17 times on 23 made baskets.

Jill Cancela / Staff Photographer

In the third quarter, Seton Hall got out to a 17-point lead, 48-31, and the game appeared to be trending towards another routine, blowout win. After the Pirates’ offense stagnated, Georgetown hit two perimeter threes and a couple of layups in transition to make the game 48-44.

Like last Friday’s game against Villanova, Seton Hall would have to retaliate and make a late comeback attempt in order to secure the victory.

With a five-point advantage in the game, Nicole Jimenez hit a huge corner three to give the Pirates breathing room and allow themselves to re-establish their defense. As Georgetown got a tough layup on the other end, Jimenez made another crucial three-pointer to balloon the lead to 13.

In the moment, the shots seemed like a sigh of relief, as Jimenez had been 3-for-14 from the field before her eight-point outburst. But, as they game finished out, her scoring effort is what took the Pirates over the hump.

Head Coach Anthony Bozzella spoke volumes about Jimenez’s confidence to make big shots after being cold from the field.

“She just had big shots, at one point she was really struggling,” Bozzella said. “She hit those three big shots with two threes, just kept fighting, fighting and fighting. We just had to find a way to win and we bounced back in by sharing the ball.”

With the win, the Pirates move to 5-4 in conference play and 10-1 on homecourt this season. The team has not won more than 11 home games in any of the three previous seasons.

The women return to action on Feb. 1 against Xavier at 7 p.m. at Walsh Gymnasium.

 Evando Thompson can be reached evando.thompson@student.shu.edu or on Twitter @Thompsev.

Author: Evando Thompson

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