The Pirates traveled south for a matchup against the University of Central Florida on Sunday in what became another statement victory for a red-hot Seton Hall squad.
Sidney Cooks knocked down back-to-back triples right out of the gate for The Hall to give the Pirates a 6-5 edge with 7:45 left in the first quarter. Seven lead changes ensued throughout the first quarter to summarize a hard-fought 10 minutes. Seton Hall was able to hold on to a three-point advantage, 21-18, heading into the second quarter.
A combined 1-for-14 start over the first 4:25 of the second period halted the offensive battle and proved both sides were just as good defensively. Jala Jordan’s three-pointer was the only made basket until Cooks knocked down a jump shot with 5:38 remaining to extend the lead to eight.
Central Florida’s Taylor Gibson gave the team their first basket of the quarter with a layup at the 5:12 mark. Seton Hall continued to attack the Knights’ defense and rode a 36-26 lead into halftime.
Jordan led the team with 10 points in the first 20 minutes while Cooks followed closely with eight points on the strength of two makes from behind-the-arc. Park-Lane and Hagans added seven points each.
Seton Hall made it a 15-point game, the largest lead of the afternoon, after Jordan connected on another deep ball. Central Florida was unable to bring the lead below double digits for the remainder of the third quarter, and the Pirates looked to seal the win in the fourth frame.
The Knights opened the fourth quarter with a 9-2 burst to cut the lead to just six points with 5:05 remaining in the game. The Hall kept the lead at six or more, though, and walked out of Orlando with a 63-56 victory.
18 points and six rebounds on 7-of-10 shooting in just 21 minutes of action from Jordan led the stat sheet. Lauren Park-Lane followed with 15 points and six assists. Cooks nearly posted a double-double with 12 points and seven rebounds. Hagans added nine points and five rebounds.
The Pirates will travel to the Bronx on Saturday to faceoff against the Fordam University Rams at 2 p.m. as they attempt to add to their winning streak.
Thomas Donnelly can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org. Find him on Twitter @_tommyd023.