The 2019-2020 Seton Hall Women’s Basketball season started off with a bang tonight as the Pirates dispatched Jefferson in blowout fashion 98-54, in their first and only exhibition contest this year. The Pirates were led by Shadeen Samuels and Iona transfer Alexis Lewis, who rained threes in her pirate debut. Samuels led the Pirates with 18 points and Lewis added 14 points, including four first quarter three-pointers.
The win was a complete team effort, with the scoring wealth being spread to numerous Pirates. The chief distributor was freshman Lauren Park-Lane, who used her quickness to infiltrate the paint, elude defenders and set up scorers like Samuels, Lewis, and Desiree Elmore. Park-Lane, of Hockessin, Delaware, finished with 10 assists.
Five Pirates finished in double figures: Samuels, Lewis, Desiree Elmore, Ole Miss transfer Barbara Johnson, and junior college transfer Jasmine Smith. Elmore finished with 16 points and 10 rebounds despite sitting out the game’s first four minutes in favor of younger players like Mya Jackson and Park-Lane. Elmore took over for stretches of the second half, using crafty finishes around the rim to help the Pirates lead balloon to over 40. Johnson tallied 17, scoring in a variety of ways including three three-pointers and numerous layups. Smith finished with a quiet 10 points.
The Pirates ambushed Jefferson from the opening tip, racing out to a 13-3 lead before four minutes had expired. The lead soon expanded to 16 at the end of the first, with Lewis adding three three-pointers and Samuels chipping in with seven points.
The dominance of the first quarter continued into the second, as Seton Hall exerted their will over Jefferson, using an up-tempo, fastbreak style to effectively end the game before halftime. Lauren Park-Lane flashed her scoring ability in the second quarter, draining a three and finishing at the rim for an old fashioned three-point play. The halftime lead for the Pirates was 30 at 55-25.
When it rains, it pours, and it began to deluge on Jefferson in the second half. Six straight points from Elmore and a basket from Smith gave the Pirates their largest lead at 89-39 before coach Bozzella inserted subs and Seton Hall effectively took their foot off the gas.
On Alexis Lewis, coach Tony Bozzella said, “she worked really hard on her game (in the offseason) and she’s going to be a tremendous weapon for us on the floor.” Bozzella added that Lauren Park-Lane “commanded the team fantastically” and that the absence of Elmore and Selena Philoxy in the starting lineup was merely to get the freshmen (Park Lane and Jackson) adjusted to college basketball and develop a rotation.
After tonight’s blowout tune-up win, the Pirates will begin the regular season on November 6 against Sacred Heart.
Matthew Collins can be reached at email@example.com.