At the halfway mark of Big East play, the Seton Hall women’s basketball team is rolling. The team has won 17 games so far, all the while bouncing in and out of the Associated Press and USA Today polls. The team has been able to do this thanks in part to a reliable bench. Head coach Tony Bozzella has been more than pleased with his reserves. During a win over Xavier where starters Aleesha Powell and Tiffany Jones struggled, Bozzella allowed for some players to come off the pine and try and help give the Pirates the win. The team combined for 15 bench points in the 82-66 victory.
“I thought we had great bench strength tonight out of Jordan Molyneaux and Jordan Mosley,” Bozzella said. “They played really well for us. Martha (Kuderer) hit two huge, huge threes, so I was really happy with her. I think those things are huge.” Having these bench players come into play when the starters need a rest also attributes to the high-scoring games the Pirates have won this season. One of these performances this season came when the backups scored a total of 36 points in a 99-68 win over Marquette on Jan. 3.
Other times the non-starters gave high-scoring performances in victories include 34 points over Liberty, 28 over St. Peter’s and 24 over Butler. Freshman Taylor Byrne, who averages 3.3 points and 2.4 rebounds per game, is a player who Bozzella has known, since the beginning of the season, would help the Pirates coming off the bench. He told The Setonian back in November that Byrne “will give us a consistent game off the bench every game this year and I’m excited to have her.” Mosley has been another reserve who’s helped the Pirates in different ways this season. The senior guard leads non-starters with 316 minutes, and has been able to come in for different backcourt players when they are struggling.
Molyneaux is another player who has stepped up off the bench when called upon. The redshirt-freshman plays the third-most minutes for a non-starter with 10.5 a game. The newcomer was more than happy about getting a chance to play against DePaul, a game that resulted in an 83-74 victory for the Pirates. The team will square off with neighboring rival St. John’s this Sunday in Walsh Gym. With a victory, the Pirates will split the season series against the Red Storm. SHU fell, 71-69, in the first meeting of the season. All eyes will be on the bench this time around, as the Pirates outscored the Red Storm, 36-9, in the loss back on Jan. 9.
Olivia Mulvihill can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org. edu or on twitter @OliviaMulvihill.