March 30, 2022 

Inside Seton Hall’s historic WNIT run

Aneesah Morrow honored for standout freshman season

Before her team’s WNIT Elite Eight match-up with Seton Hall, Columbia’s head coach knew her Lions would struggle to contain Seton Hall’s dynamic point guard Lauren Park-Lane.

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“She’s like a little magician out there,” Columbia coach Megan Griffith said. “So it’s fun to watch. It’s gonna be hard to guard but we’re looking forward to the challenge.”

Columbia was unable to contain Park-Lane in Monday’s contest. The Seton Hall Pirates, winners of 15 of their last 17 games, defeated Columbia 78-75 to advance to the program’s first-ever spot in the WNIT Final Four.

At the end of regulation, the plucky junior notched 29 points and was a perfect 14-for-14 from the free-throw line with five assists and two steals. Sidney Cooks and Andra Espinoza-Hunter chipped in 16 points apiece and Mya Bembry (11 rebounds) took care of the boards for the Pirates to secure the victory.

Park-Lane has been heroic all post-season for Seton Hall. She willed the Pirates to the BIG EAST semifinals earlier this month en route to an all-tournament team selection. So far in the WNIT tournament, the junior is posting 27.2 points per game and 6.3 assists per game.

“There’s competitive, and then there’s ultra-competitive. And she’s ultra-competitive. [She] plays with a lot of heart, a lot of passion. She doesn’t want to lose in anything we do– any little game, any little thing. So she really is a tremendous competitor, as competitive a kid as I’ve ever coached,” Seton Hall head coach Tony Bozzella told The Next earlier this season.

Next up, the Pirates will face off against Middle Tennessee on Thursday, March 31 at 7:30 p.m. ET for a chance to advance to the WNIT finals. To arrive at the semifinals, Middle Tennessee defeated Wofford, Wake Forest, Vanderbilt and Toledo.

The Raiders have a 27-7 record on the season, including a perfect 16-0 record at their home court in Murfreesboro. Seton Hall is poised to spoil the Raiders’ undefeated streak at home to advance to the WNIT finals.

Morrow earns freshman of the year honors

DePaul freshman standout Aneesah Morrow was honored on Tuesday with both the Women’s Basketball Coaches Association (WBCA) and U.S. Basketball Writers Association (USWBA) freshman of the year awards.

As a freshman, Morrow led the nation in rebounding (13.8 rebounds per game) and was in the top 15 in scoring with 21.9 points per game. Her 27 double-doubles were the second-most in NCAA Division I women’s basketball this season.

“Energy, enthusiasm, effort and effectiveness — these are hallmark pillars that each coach hopes their first-year, student-athletes will contribute to the team,” said WBCA Executive Director Danielle Donehew. “The WBCA and Adidas recognize the important contribution of first-year student-athletes. I am pleased to present the WBCA NCAA Division I Freshman of the Year award to Aneesah Morrow. Aneesah most certainly contributed to DePaul’s success and we recognize and applaud her immediate impact this season.”

In addition to these national awards, Morrow was also a unanimous choice for the All-BIG EAST first team and was named the conference’s freshman of the year.

The Next’s Jenn Hatfield contributed reporting for this story.

Written by Tee Baker

Tee has been a contributor to The Next since March Madness 2021 and is currently a contributing editor, BIG EAST beat reporter and curator of historical deep dives.

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