The Pirates looked to avoid 3 straight losses, as the team enters one of the most critical stretches of the season, coming into the first of two straight matchups against the DePaul Blue Demons. The back-to-back came as a result of a postponement due to DePaul not meeting Big East scholarship requirements.
DePaul jumped out to a 5-0 lead early on, as the Pirates didn’t score their first basket until the 6:51 mark of the first quarter. Both teams were evenly matched with smooth, fast-paced offense, though Seton Hall lagged behind for the majority of the frame. Lauren Park-Lane tied it for the first time with 58 seconds remaining, as she drained a free throw for one of her 14 first quarter points.
Seton Hall held the Blue Demons scoreless for the first 3:31 of the second quarter, and back-to-back threes from Sidney Cooks sparked a 15-0 burst which resulted in a 33-22 lead. The Pirates ended the quarter with a 51-42 lead heading into the break.
The first half for Park-Lane and Cooks were thrilling, as the duo scored 23 and 20 points respectively and scored all 18 first-quarter points. The team shot 64.5% from the field behind 16-of-20 shooting from the aforementioned Pirate stars.
An Azana Baine's traditional three-pointer gave the Hall a 60-48 advantage with just under seven minutes remaining in the third frame, but DePaul would put up a fight with an 8-0 run to cut the deficit to just 4 points. An 8-0 run out of a timeout pushed the Pirates’ lead back to double digits with two minutes left.
Seton Hall used a 12-3 burst capped off by a Cooks’ putback to take their largest lead of the night at 16 with 5:24 left in the game. As time passed, the Blue Demons sparked together a sequence of flashy plays to cut their deficit to just 5 with 1:02 remaining.
The Pirates wouldn't let their treasure disappear, and they closed the game with 4 clutch free throws from Park-Lane to steal the win, 89-82. Those points gave Park-Lane the all-time single-game scoring record with 39 points, surpassing Tabatha Richardson-Smith's previous record of 38. She tacked on nine assists and four assists. Cooks added 29 points, 9 boards, and four makes from behind-the-arc.
The Hall improves to 9-7 in conference play and 16-10 overall. They return to action on Wednesday, Feb. 15th in Chicago to take on DePaul once again at 8:00 pm.
Nicholas Rodriguez can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.