Saturday, January 6, 2018

Pirates get on board in Big East standings with team effort to prevail over Providence

Seton Hall head coach Tony Bozzella was in good spirits addressing media following Pirates' win over Providence Friday. (Photo by Ray Floriani/Daly Dose Of Hoops)

By Ray Floriani (@rfloriani)

SOUTH ORANGE, NJ -- Donnaizha Fountain was pleased, not for getting her 1,000th career point nor for winding up as leading scorer with a 20-point effort. 

Seton Hall's fifth-year senior guard found her satisfaction in getting a victory. The Pirates started 0-3 in the Big East before a 65-56 victory over Providence Friday got them back on track.

“We had enough with the losses,” Fountain said following Friday’s game. “I just wanted to do what I could to help us win. After a while, losses are embarrassing."  

Fountain did more than shoot 7-of-11 from the floor, gathering a game-high 12 rebounds and defending Providence's leading scorer, Jovana Nogic. Seton Hall also enjoyed a 15-point outing from JaQuan Jackson.

“Fountain and Jackson made some big shots,” Providence coach Jim Crowley said. “They made contested shots and ones that hurt our momentum when we were coming back. But they are veteran players. We are a group with sophomores. When you have veterans, they step up and make plays.”

Seton Hall won eight of eleven non-conference games. That portion of the schedule gets you ready for the all-important conference battles. Not to be an excuse, the schedule makers did Tony Bozzella’s club no favors. Big East play saw the Pirates on the road against DePaul and Marquette to open things up.  

“Those are probably the two best teams in the league,” Bozzella said. A home date against a dangerous Creighton followed. Suddenly the Pirates were 0-3 and in dire need of a win. The contest with Providence took on added importance for the Pirates.

“This win says a lot about our team,” Bozzella praised. “We faced a well coached team that likes to get you into your pace. I thought we were able to speed them up at times when we needed to.”

A strong defensive effort limiting Providence to 38 percent shooting and a 38-30 rebounding edge resulted in a 15-3 edge for Seton Hall in second chance points. The number satisfying Bozzella most, though, was one; simply, the first conference win of the season. It was important as a number of newcomers had yet to experience Big East play and getting that first win broke the ice. Another factor Bozzella touched on was getting everyone involved. The first conference win was a total team effort, something you need as Big East play moves on.

For Bozzella and his group, there was little time to celebrate and just kick back and enjoy this one. The conference format of Friday-Sunday games leave little time for that. One game is done and on to prep for the next one. For Seton Hall, Sunday brings a visit to Butler. The first order of the day would be a 6 a.m. charter flight to Indiana on Saturday morning.  As noted, little time to rest on this win. Coming off a victory, though, makes that early wake up call a bit easier to handle.

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