Thursday, February 20, 2014

Seton Hall 82, Providence 72: Ray Floriani's Photo Essay

SOUTH ORANGE, NJ – First, the score. Seton Hall defeated Providence 82-­72 in a Big East women’s contest at Walsh Gym. Looking a little deeper, one can see the victors weathered second half foul trouble and an excellent 26-point effort by Providence’s Alexis Harris. Simply, this game might have gone in the loss column a year ago.

The Hall is now 6-­8 in conference and 15-­10 overall. One of the major things new coach Tony Bozzella has done here is initiate a culture change. The past few years, the Hall women looked at February as a time where the season was winding down. Not Bozzella. He challenged his team to make February significant. Let it lead to victories, carry over into March and postseason.

They tell us March is the cruelest month. February, for those of us in the metropolitan area, has been a month, weather wise, that would give any March a run. But this is the month in which Bozzella thrives. He asked every team member what February meant in high school. To a player. they spoke of competing and making a run at a league, county and/or state title. Bozzella then asked why February could not be important again.

A few good practices were followed by Tuesday evening’s win over the visiting Friars. Watching their performance, especially down the stretch, it is evident that the Hall has taken the coach’s message to heart.

Tabatha Richardson-Smith, coordinator of basketball operations Marissa Flagg and assistant coach Tiffany Jones-Smart watch the action intently:
At halftime, St. Catherine's of Siena's grade school girls played an intrasquad game. Yours truly has officiated many times at Catherine's and finds it a great school to work for. The Cedar Grove, NJ-based St. Catherine's of Siena is very appropriately nicknamed the Saints:
Official Joe Vaszily getting set to give the ball to Providence's Tori Rule to start the second half:
Richardson-Smith and Tara Inman, who played a solid game for the Pirates, take a break during a dead ball:
Ka-Deidre Simmons attempts to split two Providence defenders:
With a victory in the books, the Hall meets postgame at center court:

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