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Wagner’s late push not enough, Pirates escape 70-62

Seton Hall women’s basketball hosted a competitive Wagner Seahawks team on Tuesday and escaped a surge to ultimately win the matinee, 70-62.

Andra Espinoza-Hunter came out of the gates with fire as she scored ten of the Pirates’ 14 points and gave the Pirates a 14-4 lead halfway through the opening quarter. Mya Jackson made her return evident with one of her four total threes early in the game. Wagner came to within six, though Seton Hall closed the quarter with an 8-0 run spanning almost four minutes and bringing the lead to 14 headed into the second quarter, 24-10.

Wagner reacted to another Espinoza-Hunter deep ball with an 11-2 run halfway through the second quarter to cut the Hall’s lead to six once again. The remaining of Mya Jackson’s four threes came with just a minute and a half left in the second quarter, as she hit three straight triples during that span to send the Pirates into the break up 15 points, 42-27.

The Pirates held a commanding lead throughout the third quarter, as it fluctuated from as much as 19 points to as little as thirteen points after halftime. A last-second midrange jumper from Espinoza-Hunter gave the Hall a 19-point lead headed into the final quarter of play and seemed to have solidified a win. Wagner was not done, though. As the Seahawks trailed 65-47 with just five minutes remaining in the game, Wagner did not allow another basket due to their hard pressure on the defensive end. A 13-1 run brought Seton Hall’s lead to six with just under two minutes left. The Pirates’ performance at the stripe was the telltale of the game as they connected on four to put the game away.

Wagner’s defensive presence was evident, especially down the stretch, as two players recorded four steals. Espinoza-Hunter led all scorers on Tuesday with her dominant double-double of 20 points and 11 rebounds that came with four assists, two blocks, and three steals. Sidney Cooks had a double-double of her own with 17 points and a career-high 14 rebounds to go along with a career-high six swats in the win. Lauren Park-Lane dished out a game-high 11 assists. Mya Jackson’s return brought a strong 16 points to the stat sheet. The Pirates shot an efficient 44.3% from the field, though didn’t make a single three pointer in the second half.

Seton Hall improves to 6-5 this season while closing non-conference play, and will return to action on Friday, December 31st for a New Years Eve Big East matchup at Villanova. The game is set to begin at 2:00 pm in Pennsylvania.


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