The Seton Hall women’s basketball team picked up its third Big East win of the season with a 70-65 victory over the Georgetown Hoyas. The win was head coach Tony Bozzella’s 400th of his career.
The Pirates’ defense came out strong and forced some turnovers early, which turned into easy points at the other end and a quick 6-0 lead. Seton Hall went on to outscore Georgetown 14-2 in the fast break over the course of the game.
Donnaizha Fountain had six of her team-high 20 points and six of her game-high 10 rebounds in the first quarter. The double-double was Fountain’s seventh of the season.
Despite Seton Hall getting ahead in transition, Georgetown cut the lead to three and ended the first quarter down 16-13.
Both teams traded baskets in the second quarter before Seton Hall went on a 7-0 run to end the half with a 34-27 lead. Inja Butina – playing perhaps her best game in blue and white – had seven points and seven assists with no turnovers through the first half of play.
“We always talk about before the game that it’s important to start the game with energy and push the ball,” Butina said. “Everyone kept the same energy and intensity which was great.”
Butina finished the game with a career-high 17 points to go along with eight assists and five steals. It was the way she started the game, though, that set the table for her best statistical performance.
“If [Butina] starts the game off tentatively or not confidently we’re going to play that way the whole game,” Bozzella said. “She plays confident and tough and that’s the way we want the team to play.”
Inspired by Butina, the Hall came out with confidence in the third quarter and extended its lead. Everything seemed to be going right for the Pirates, including a running three-pointer as the shot-clock expired, by Butina, that gave the team a 41-33 lead.
Georgetown trailed by as many as 15 points in the fourth quarter, and yet still, the Hoyas did not go down without a fight. In a game that Seton Hall never trailed, Georgetown cut the lead to two with less than a minute to play.
After a missed Butina jumper, Kimi Evans grabbed the biggest rebound of the game on the offensive glass and absorbed the foul. The freshman Evans, who played a career-high 32 minutes, knocked down both free throws to give the Pirates a 67-63 lead.
The win improved the Pirates to 11-8 on the season and 3-5 in the Big East. The team will now get some rest after playing eight games in 18 days. Their next contest will come on Jan. 21 when St. John’s visits Walsh Gymnasium.
Nick Santoriello can be reached at email@example.com or on Twitter @NickSantoriello.