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Pirates escape late over St. John’s, 84-79

Seton Hall women’s basketball returned home to Walsh Gymnasium on Wednesday after a 2-game road trip to host local rival St. John’s. With a combined 56 points in the victory, Andra Espinoza-Hunter and Lauren Park-Lane, who scored 30 points for the second consecutive game, propelled the Pirates to victory, 84-79.

Despite stellar performances from the Hall’s guard duo, the game was off to a shaky start. The Red Storm began a 10-2 run following a Sidney Cooks jumper in the low post. The team scored 9 total points in the first quarter and found themselves trailing headed into the second quarter, 21-9.

A Bozzella-run team is never out of it, though, as a second quarter surge lead by Park-Lane and Espinoza-Hunter brought the Pirates back to life. The quarter began with a Park-Lane triple after Sidney Cooks passed out of a double team. Later in the quarter, Seton Hall went on a 14-0 run to retake the lead highlighted by a tough finish at the rim for Espinoza-Hunter. St. John’s took the lead late in the second frame and headed into the break leading 39-37.

Park-Lane and Espinoza-Hunter scored 17 points and 16 points, respectively. Cooks pulled down five rebounds and swatted two shots, while Mya Bembry grabbed five rebounds as well.

The third quarter featured four lead changes and two ties, as neither team found a way to pull away. Espinoza-Hunter poked the ball out on the first play of the quarter and dished it to Sidney Cooks to tie the game. The Hall trailed by as much as four here, though inched back and held onto the lead headed into the final quarter of play, 62-59.

With under five minutes remaining in the fourth quarter, St. John’s retook the lead after Rayven Peeples knocked down a jumper on the left wing. A Park-Lane and-one, though, propelled the Pirates to a one-point lead with just 40 seconds remaining. This proved to be the dagger after Park-Lane and Espinoza-Hunter each hit a pair of free throws to seal an 84-79 win.

Lauren Park-Lane once again dominated with a near double-double of 31 points and eight assists followed by Andra Espinoza-Hunter’s season-high 25 points, four assists, six rebounds, and three steals. Sidney Cooks and Mya Bembry nearly had double-doubles themselves with 13 and 10 points, respectively, along with eight rebounds each.

Seton Hall improves to 3-4 in the Big East and 8-7 overall. The Pirates return to the hardwood on Friday, January 21st at No. 9 Connecticut at 7:00 pm.

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