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Pirates Prevail Behind Park-Lane, Cooks Double-Doubles, Advance in WNIT

Seton Hall women’s basketball hosted the Drexel Dragons on Thursday night for a WNIT Sweet Sixteen matchup. After an 11-0 run midway through the second half, Seton Hall overcame a 9-point deficit to advance to the Elite Eight, 78-71.

Senior Sidney Cooks scored on back-to-back possessions to help the Pirates jump out to a commanding 9-2 lead early. Andra Espinoza-Hunter knocked down three trifectas in the first quarter alone for 9 early points to go along with 3 rebounds. With 4 assists, Lauren Park-Lane pushed Seton Hall to a 17-11 lead after 10 minutes.

The second quarter began with each side trading baskets, and The Hall contained a 6-point lead for most of the frame. The Dragons clawed back to tie the game at 27 at the 3:30 mark, but Park-Lane drained her first triple of the night during the next possession to regain the lead. Seton Hall took a 35-32 lead into the break.

Park-Lane went on to double-double watch early with 12 points and 6 assists after a 10-point second quarter. Cooks followed with 8 points and 5 rebounds and Espinoza-Hunter added 9 points and 4 boards.

Coming out of the half, Cooks retaliated an early Drexel layup with one of her own to hold onto their 3-point lead. Scoring slowed, though, and The Hall lead just 39-38 with 5:41 left in the third quarter. Park-Lane was unconscious defensively, holding Drexel’s Keishana Washington to 5 points through the first three quarters. She knocked down two shots from the stripe following a three-pointer to retake the lead, 44-42. The Pirates let their guard up late in the third as the Dragons knocked down a triple to take their first lead of the game with 2:03 remaining in the frame. Mya Jackson hit a corner three to push Seton Hall to a 2-point advantage, but an 11-0 run from Drexel that carried over into the final quarter gave them a 56-47 lead.

A midrange jumper from Sidney Cooks capped off an 11-2 Pirate burst to retake the lead, 61-60. Tied at 63 with just under 3:00 to play, Mya Jackson drilled a shot from behind-the-arc that had Walsh Gymnasium on their feet. Park-Lane found Cooks down low to seal a huge double-double and followed that play with a dagger three-pointer. The game was completed at the free throw line for Seton Hall.

Lauren Park-Lane erupted for a 29-point, 11-assist double-double to go with 3 steals to lead The Hall over a 9-point deficit. Sidney Cooks added 19 points and pulled down 11 rebounds, and Andra Espinoza-Hunter’s four made threes gave her 12 points along with 8 rebounds and 3 steals. Mya Jackson also had 12 points on the night.

Seton Hall advances to the WNIT Elite Eight, which is the farthest The Hall has advanced in the postseason. They will travel to New York to face Columbia University in Levien Gymnasium on Monday, March 28th at 8:00 pm.

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