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Espinoza-Hunter’s 35 Not Enough in Double-OT Loss Against Creighton

It was Senior Day in South Orange as the Pirates hosted the Creighton Bluejays in hopes of extending their win streak. Andra Espinoza-Hunter, Danielle Robinson, and Katie Armstrong were all honored before gametime on Sunday. Both sides battled to the final buzzer in double overtime, though Seton Hall ultimately fell to Creighton in heartbreaking fashion, 97-91.

The first quarter featured multiple lead changes until Creighton found their groove and pulled away in the last three minutes. Espinoza-Hunter and Cooks combined for 14 of the team’s 18 points, though trailed headed into the second frame, 24-18.

Seton Hall began the second quarter with a huge 12-0 run led by eight from Andra Espinoza-Hunter that was highlighted by two triples which gave them a 30-24 lead. A subsequent 9-2 run from the Bluejays lifted them to a one-point lead with just under three minutes remaining in the first half. Creighton held the lead into the break, 40-37, though Seton Hall was unphased.

Andra Espinoza-Hunter’s 14 first-half points kept the team in the game, while Cooks added 11 points. Mya Bembry tacked on 6 points and 3 rebounds in the first half. Lauren Park-Lane was quiet shooting the ball, but her game-high 7 assists were vital for The Hall.

Park-Lane opened the half with a triple to even the game at 40. The third quarter mimicked the first with multiple lead changes until Park-Lane boosted the Pirates to a 61-56 lead with another triple late in the frame. Creighton cut the five-point lead to just one, and the fourth quarter started with a 61-60 Pirate advantage. Espinoza-Hunter led all scorers with 22 points through three quarters.

Lauren Park-Lane assisted an Andra Espinoza-Hunter layup for her 10th assist of the night and a double-double. This began a 10-2 fourth quarter run for Seton Hall for a 71-65 lead with 6:14 left in the game. Creighton combatted the run with another of their own, this time 8-2, to tie the game at 73. Park-Lane knocked down two free throws late in the fourth frame that eventually sent the game to overtime.

Down 83-81, Park-Lane was fouled on a floater that fell and put Seton Hall in position to win with 6 seconds left in the first overtime. Creighton was fouled on the next play and Walsh Gymnasium roared with disappointment, though only one fell. The Pirates turned the ball over with 1.2 seconds left and the Bluejays heaved one from half court for the win, though it was after the buzzer.

Another 3-point play from Park-Lane put The Hall ahead again early in the second overtime. Seton Hall led 91-89, though Creighton put the game away with a 9-0 run. Espinoza-Hunter dominated with 35 points and 5 rebounds, but she fouled out late. Lauren Park-Lane dished 12 assists to go along with 24 points. Cooks scored 15 and Bembry pulled down 13 boards on top of her 11 points. Creighton had 4 players in double figures as well, led by Emma Ronsiek’s 26 points and 13 rebounds.

The Hall drops to 9-8 in Big East play and 14-11 overall, and unfortunately lose their 6-game winning streak. Seton Hall returns to action on Tuesday, February 22nd at 2:00 pm as Butler travels to South Orange.

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