Sunday, January 11, 2015

Seton Hall 78, Xavier 54: Ray Floriani's Photo Essay

South Orange, NJ ­- On the surface, a week off can be a blessing for a team coming off a loss, especially one where you exit the gym disappointed in what you had to do but ultimately did not. That seven days off from game competition is not always ideal. Second-guessing and over ’paralysis by analysis’ can creep in. At times, a couple days between games can be a better scenario. Experience that tough loss, get back to practice, correct what needs to be addressed and move on to the next contest.

The Seton Hall women were facing the first scenario. Last Friday was the setback at St. John’s. This past Friday, a strong Xavier team entered Walsh Gym for a Big East battle. Those conference games naturally are a priority. They are an added challenge because, as noted here before, the league teams know each other’s team and individual tendencies all too well.

The Pirates got back on track with an impressive 78-­54 victory. Xavier battled hard and it was a one-possession game early in the second half. At that juncture, the Hall defense imposed its will en route to win number 14.

Seton Hall put five players in double figures. On the defensive end, they limited Xavier to 7 second half field goals while forcing turnovers. The biggest story, coach Tony Bozzella knows, was how the Hall responded. “St. John’s might have been our worst overall performance of the season,’ he said, ’tonight was the best.” The time between games was a week. On that seventh day, Seton Hall did not rest. Not for any of the 40 minutes.

Officials Denise Brooks and Joseph Vaszily during a timeout:
Xavier coach Brian Neal intently studies the action:
During the week, yours truly officiated with Frank Saul. His dad's banner proudly hangs in the Walsh Gym rafters:
Ka-Deidre Simmons gets the Pirate offense going:
Tony Bozzella notices something that needs attention:
With the win in the books, Pirate fans celebrate:

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