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Defense and individual improvements aiding women’s basketball

Team orientated play has been the source of success for the Pirates, as they have marched out to a 12-7 record with the season entering its last legs. Despite the belief that Big East Preseason Player of the Year Shadeen Samuels would carry the program to its victories for the 2019-20 campaign, the diverse team effort has produced the results the Pirates have hoped for.

Five players on the unit are averaging at least ten points for the Pirates, as Desiree Elmore leads the group wit 14.1 points per game. Although Elmore has the second most shots attempt on the team, the transfer-junior is second on the team for field goal percentage of players with at least 20 shots. Her 48.6% clip is only behind Samuels’ 53.9%. The minutes are spread out within the team as well, not just the scoring, as eight players are registering at least 13 minutes a game, with six of those players playing for at least 24 minutes.

The improvement on defense as compared to last season has been another stable pillar in the foundation of Pirate wins. The Hall has been allowing an average of 62.9 points a game, almost ten points less than the 72.2 they surrendered last year. A turnover margin of 5.1 is also now a factor in the play of the Pirates, who only had a margin of 2.1 the season prior. Seton Hall is also accounting for more steals in 2019-20, establishing themselves as a program who takes both ends of the court very seriously.
From an individual standpoint, the rise of Elmore’s game has certainly had its effect on the program. Elmore, who came to the Pirates from Syracuse two years ago, went from averaging 10.3 points, 5.1 rebounds and 1.6 assists last season to 14.1 points, 6.9 rebounds, and 2.3 assists this year. Her 17 blocks also lead the team this season, accounting for over one-third of the team’s production.

Photo via SHU Athletics

Two other individuals who have catapulted the Pirates play have been freshmen Lauren Park-Lane and Mya Jackson. Both proving to be difference makers even in their first year, Park-Lane has been facilitating from the starting point guard position excellently in head coach Anthony Bozzella’s offense, proving the trust Bozzella has in her, as she has 28.5 minutes played per game, second most on the team. As for Jackson, she has made her impact from the perimeter in her first collegiate season, attempting the second most threes on the team and being efficient with it, knocking down 42.7% of her shots.

The Hall have been a new team this season, as they are playing sufficient defense while pouring in baskets the same way they did last year. Their scoring margin of 9.5 points a game is a testament to how the team has improved all around instead of just in one area. The program will also look to finish above six in the standings for the first time since they finished second during the 2015-16 season. With just ten games left in the regular season, the Hall has the makings to accomplish this, especially as they have really molded into their style of play as winners of seven of their last 10 games.

Robert Fallo can be reached at him on Twitter @robert_fallo.


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