As part of a 95-69 season opening victory for Seton Hall over Sacred Heart, Big East Preseason Player of the Year Shadeen Samuels displayed why she was recognized as the conference’s best player, notching a double-double with 15 points and 14 rebounds. She was one of three players to record double digits points, with four players finishing with nine. Samuels and the Pirates’ source of offense came from behind the three-point line, as the Hall converted on 12-30 from beyond the arc.
“With this team we have a lot of players who are capable three-point shooters, so we know each game we are going to shoot a lot of threes,” said Samuels. “We try not to depend on them a lot, we try to get in the paint, but it determines what the team gives us. The team gives us a three, then we are going to shoot the three. We have a lot of players who can knock down that shot so it is pretty good.”
Another impactful aspect to the Hall’s dominant win were the performances of two freshman. Point guard Lauren Park-Lane led the way in minutes for the squad, totaling nine points and six assists while having a +42 point differential when on the court as she facilitated the offense. Fellow freshman Mya Jackson was the leading scorer in the contest at the conclusion of the first half, registering all of her 16 points and going 4-of-6 from three.
“These kids show a lot of heart,” said head coach Anthony Bozzella. “They have been very tough, and I am proud of how hard they work, those things are really important to me. They might play even more minutes if we are not going to get better production out of our upperclassmen.”
Discipline, defense, and fundamentals were another key part of the game that gave Seton Hall the advantage. The Pirates forced 28 turnovers from the Pioneers depositing 25 points off Sacred Heart’s mistakes. The majority of turnovers were caused by steals within the Hall’s zone defense, as Bozzella’s squad stole the ball 16 times. This allowed for the Pirates to only trail for 1:13 minutes of the game in their triumph.
“We spend a lot of time in practice on defense,” said Samuels. “It is a really good feeling when you get in the game and the other team turns the ball over, we get steals and finish on the other end. It is something that is very important for this program, so it means a lot to us.”
The next contest for the Hall will be against Fairfield at home on Saturday. Tip-off is at 11 a.m
Robert Fallo can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org. Find him on Twitter @robert_fallo.