Wednesday, February 25, 2015

Seton Hall 64, Villanova 62: Ray Floriani's Photo Essay

South Orange, NJ - Senior day is anticipated, and in some ways, is a day of mixed emotion. It can be bittersweet to an extent. An opportunity to honor departing seniors for their careers, contributions on and off the floor and memories of how they have grown. On the other side is a goodbye, the realization that we will not see those honored suit up for the home team again. The careers are winding down.

Sunday at Seton Hall was the senior day for the women. The Pirates were hosting Villanova. First order was the honors. In a manner of celebrating as one big family, so much the work of coach Tony Bozzella and his staff, the senior band members, cheerleaders, and Sapphires dance team were honored leading up to the Seton Hall players. Even Villanova seniors were given a small token tribute prior to the celebration of Seton Hall.

Festivities aside, there was an important Big East game to play. Villanova showed a nice perimeter touch and built an eight-point lead at the half.

The outside can be feast or famine. Rather than let the percentages catch up, Seton Hall grabbed the initiative by attacking the percentages catch up, Seton Hall grabbed the initiative by attacking the basket. The second half saw a different Seton Hall team. A different result. In the final seconds, a penetration by Daisha Simmons, one of those honored seniors, gave the Hall the lead, one they kept as a last-second Villanova try was closely guarded and missed. Seton Hall 64, Villanova 62.

Postgame, there was a lot to talk about. That strong second half by the Hall. Villanova’s dictating of tempo and problems caused on the perimeter, this Seton Hall team willing themselves to win this.

Before the postgame discussion, moments after the final buzzer, the four Seton Hall seniors went to the microphone and thanked the fans. Not just for today. For all season. For their true devotion. Being there and being supportive to the fullest degree.

On this wonderful day, we honored and said farewell to the four seniors: Chizoba Ekedigwe, Janee Johnson, Daisha Simmons and Ka-Deidre Simmons. They in turn, reciprocated the feelings, expressing gratitude and saying ‘thank you’ to all of us. We will miss each other, but the memories of the special moments the provided will always be treasured.

Seton Hall senior Chizoba Ekedigwe and her family on senior day:
Janee Johnson with her family, greeting the appreciative crowd:
A special young lady who energized the program with her contributions, Daisha Simmons:
Ka-Deidre Simmons reflects and says "thank you" to all for the memories:
Villanova coaches Harry Perretta and Joe Mullaney, a former coach himself, survey the action:
Ka-Deidre Simmons against the Villanova defense:
Caroline Coyer of Villanova with a penetration move:
Courtside neighbor John Fanta of WSOU and the Pirate Sports Network, hard at work:
The four Seton Hall seniors acknowledge the crowd postgame, as Ka-Deidre Simmons waves to the appreciative fans:

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