Seton Hall women’s basketball returned to Walsh Gymnasium on Tuesday with the Pirates defeating Mount St. Mary’s 81-68 in their season opener.
The Hall opened the game on a 9-0 run, with Mya Jackson hitting two consecutive three-point shots and Andra Espinoza-Hunter scoring her first three-point basket of the season. Mount St. Mary’s were not deterred by the quick start, though, as they responded with a 9-0 run of their own during the first quarter. The Mountaineers were within a point of the Pirates as the first quarter came to an end, but junior guard Lauren Park-Lane scored a late three-point basket to increase their lead to four heading into the break.
It took the Pirates a bit more time to find their stride in the second quarter, but they eventually pulled away from their opponents with a 15-0 run midway through. Seton Hall had also taken advantage of their turnover opportunities during the second quarter, scoring 15 points from them to establish a commanding 45-29 lead heading into the half time break.
The lead did not stay for long as the Hall went 0-for-10 from three-point range after their hot start and allowed for the Mountaineers to stay in the game. Mount St. Mary’s propelled themselves to within six points of the Pirates and came within six points again late in the fourth quarter, 72-66. The game was sealed at the free throw line, where the Pirates tacked on their final nine points from the stripe, shooting 75% in the process.
Neither team shined from outside as each team shot below 34%, and Mount St. Mary’s 49.1% from the floor beat the Pirates mere 43%. The deciding factor of the match was the turnover battle, where Seton Hall forced 26 turnovers led by Park-Lane’s four steals and Amari Wright’s three that followed.
Park-Lane led all scorers with 24 points after a slow start and came up with four assists and four steals, while Espinoza-Hunter tacked on 21 points with four rebounds. Jackson added 16 points and became the 67th player in Seton Hall history to reach 500 career points. Katie Armstrong led the team with eight rebounds despite the Hall being out-rebounded 33-to-36.
The win for Seton Hall meant that head coach Anthony Bozzella improved his undefeated opening day record to 9-0 during his tenure in South Orange, N.J.
Seton Hall will be at home over their next three games, hosting Fordham on Saturday, Nov. 13 and Lehigh on Tuesday, Nov. 16 before heading to Mexico for the 2021 Cancun Challenge.