The Seton Hall Pirates opened the 2023-24 campaign on Tuesday, as they dominated the visiting Iona Gaels by a score of 75-32.
Senior guard Amari Wright started off the game strong by showing her versatility, first pulling down a defensive rebound and converting on the other end for the Pirates’ first points of the season. Seton Hall built a strong lead early in the game with a 17-4 burst that helped the Pirates take a 16-point lead headed into the second quarter.
The Pirates offensive attack was well-balanced, with five players scoring eight or more points. Sophomore guard Micah Gray led all scorers with 11 points. This was her first game as a Pirate after transferring over from the Texas Southern Tigers, where she averaged 16.7 PPG.
Wright followed Gray’s performance with nine points of her own. Graduate forwards Azana Baines and Kae Satterfield, alongside sophomore Makennah White, each had eight points in the victory.
Every Pirate saw action tonight, with each of them playing at least nine minutes in the blowout victory. 2023 McDonald’s All-American and freshman guard Savannah Catalon was impressive off the bench, scoring seven points in her collegiate debut.
The Hall shot a stellar 12-13 from the free throw line. Despite their free throw success, the Pirates struggled to shoot from beyond the arc, shooting 3-for-15 on the night. The departure of former Pirate Sidney Cooks can be attributed to the shooting struggles, with Cooks having shot 42.9% from downtown last season.
The astounding defense made up for this, as Iona’s 32 points are the fewest allowed by the Pirates in the Tony Bozzella era. Iona was held to just 27.9% shooting from the field on Tuesday night. Baines anchored Seton Hall defensively, posting three steals and two blocks.
Seton Hall’s defense forced 24 turnovers, while they committed just 11 turnovers and outrebounded the Gaels 42-to-30.
Sophomore forward Petra Oborilova and senior guard Natalia Otkhmezuri, who each scored seven points, led the scoring for Iona. Oborilova shot 3-8 from the field, including one three-pointer. Otkhmezuri shot an efficient 3-6 from the field and also connected on a three-pointer.
After their victory, the Pirates became the seventh team in the Big East conference to start out 1-0. The only team who has lost a game thus far is the Butler Bulldogs. Seton Hall will travel to the Big Apple to face Columbia at Levien Gymnasium on Friday, Nov. 10 at 7:00 pm.
Matthew Soetebeer can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org,