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Alexia Allesch returns home to Seton Hall

Alexia Allesch returns home to Seton Hall
After earning the Sun Belt Conference Newcomer of the Year and leading the Appalachian State Mountaineers to their best finish since joining the Sun Belt, Alexia Allesch returns to Seton Hall for her final year of eligibility. Allesch was on the Pirates from 2019-2021, starting in 21 games total. (Courtesy: Gabe Rhodes / GR Productions)

SOUTH ORANGE, N.J. (BVM) – It’s not very often you see a player re-transfer back to a school, especially in the NIL-era. For Alexia Allesch, she joins the short list as she returns to Seton Hall following a stint at Appalachian State.

Coming out of Gill St. Bernard’s School, Allesch was touted as a hard-working player who could do everything on the court. With options to pick from, Allesch decided to commit to the University of Massachusetts.

In her freshman season at Massachusetts, Allesch didn’t get consistent minutes on the court as she played less than seven minutes a game. In that time, she only averaged 1.2 points per game and 1.4 rebounds per game.

 Allesch realized Massachusetts wasn’t the fit for her and decided to transfer to school closer to her hometown and landed on Seton Hall.

Due to NCAA’s transfer rules at the time, Allesch had to sit out for the 2018-19 season, but she would get her chance to play the following year.

Her career at Seton Hall didn’t get off to a quick start. Like at Massachusetts, she was mostly getting playing time when games were already decided. Excluding one outlier game against Vanderbilt, Allesch didn’t log double-digit minutes in any of her first eight games.

She was always ready for her number to be called, and on Jan. 17, 2020, that opportunity came against Creighton. In that contest, Allesch scored eight points on 3-5 shooting while also grabbing three rebounds. Her efforts helped knock off a 12-4 Creighton team 82-70.

Allesch continued to see increased minutes and, eventually, she got her first start against the Marquette Golden Eagles on Feb. 7. Despite her performance which included early foul trouble, head coach Tony Bozzella believed in Allesch and left her in the starting lineup for the next two games.

A week later on Feb. 14, Allesch would have her best outing of the season, recording 10 points and six rebounds against Providence.

The overall season statistics of 2.4 points per game and 2.0 rebounds per game wouldn’t jump out the page, but her effect on the team went beyond the box score. Her effort on the defensive end, her willingness to go after loose balls, and her overall team-over-me attitude had such a profound effect on the program that she was named Seton Hall Women’s Basketball Teammate of the Year.

In the 2020-21 season, Allesch was rewarded for her hard work. She now had a defined role as the hustle player next to Andra Espinoza-Hunter, Lauren Park-Lane and Desiree Elmore. She was a starter in every game she played, and her production increased across the board.

Her best performance came on Dec. 13 against Albany where she would record her first double-double as a Pirate, scoring 13 points and grabbing 10 rebounds. She helped lead the Pirates to a 14-7 overall record, which was third in the Big East.

Allesch’s undergraduate eligibility was up so she once again entered the transfer portal. She landed at Appalachian State, a school in the Sun Belt conference.

The move ended up being great for her development. She broke out for the Mountaineers, averaging 13.5 points per game and 9.7 rebounds per game. She picked up 10 double-doubles on the season, second most in the Sun Belt, and was inside the top 10 in the Sun Belt for scoring, rebounding and blocked shots.

The biggest area of improvement for Allesch last season was her 3-point shooting. She had previously shown the ability to knock down threes, but never at a consistent rate. Last season, she became a 3-point specialist, shooting 36.5-percent from behind the arc on five attempts a game.

Allesch was rewarded with second team all-conference honors and was named Sun Belt Conference Newcomer of the Year.

With her ability as a scorer much more refined, Allesch returns to the program who truly gave her a shot all those years ago. The Pirates look much different now than when she left in 2021 as the only starter remaining is reigning All-Big East First Team member Lauren Park-Lane.

The frontcourt is loaded for Seton Hall next season as they return All-Big East First Team selection Sidney Cooks and starter Mya Bembry with incoming transfer Jala Jordan from Auburn. Allesch will definitely compete for a starting spot, but if she doesn’t get it, her ability on both offense and defense will make an impact off the bench.

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