Pirates defeat Johnnies in Big East Opener

In an intense Big East opener, the Seton Hall women’s basketball team claimed a 77-67 victory over St. John’s at Walsh Gymnasium on Sunday afternoon. The win keeps the Pirates unbeaten at home after seven games and opens their Big East campaign with a win in a key rivalry game.

Both sides started the match recklessly, combining for 12 turnovers and 15 fouls in the first quarter alone. Qadashah Hoppie provided the Red Storm with a clinical finish from outside the arc and was a clear stand out throughout the first quarter.

As the Pirates found their rhythm following a scrappy start, they pulled to within a point of St. John’s heading into halftime. Inja Butina and Desiree Elmore led to the team’s resurgence with nine points each. As Elmore imposed her presence in the paint, the towering sophomore guard grabbed six rebounds to give the Pirates ample second chance opportunities.

Renee Nunez / Staff Photographer

Butina carried Seton Hall’s momentum from the second quarter into the third as her back-to-back three-point shots saw Seton Hall take the lead back from St. John’s. Nicole Jimenez also found her groove in the second half, helping her team hasten movement in transition and finding Elmore and Shadeen Samuels in the paint when she could. Butina and Jimenez finished as the team’s top scorers with 19 and 16 points, respectively.

The match was all but wrapped up by the time Jimenez pulled up from outside the arc to beat the shot clock and give the Pirates a 13 point lead. The shot seemed to bring out the infectious passion of coach Anthony Bozzella, as he jeered on the crowd to make more noise for his team.

As St. John’s went cold, Bozzella’s team continued to click offensively through Butina and Jimenez, as well as the paint threat provided by Samuels. The Red Storm kept the fourth quarter interesting with a late push to tighten the score line, but the efforts were made far too late to overcome the deficit.

Renee Nunez / Staff Photographer

The confidence from this match will be needed for the Pirates as they will hit the road for consecutive Big East away games against Butler and Xavier. The team will return to play at the Walsh Gymnasium on Jan. 11 against Creighton.

Justin Sousa can be reached at justin.sousa@student.shu.edu or on Twitter @Sousa7474.

Author: Staff Writer

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