WBB in NCAA
For the second consecutive year and the sixth time in program history, the St. John’s women’s basketball team has earned a spot in the NCAA tournament.
The Red Storm earned the No. 9 seed in the Spokane region of the tournament, and will take on the No. 8 seed Texas Tech at the Maples Pavilion in Stanford, Calif., on Saturday at 4:20 p.m. ET.
“We’re really excited to have the opportunity to play in the NCAA tournament,” said head coach Kim Barnes Arico. “It’s the greatest tournament in America and we feel privileged to be one of the top teams in the country and to be still playing.”
Texas Tech is making its first NCAA Tournament appearance since 2005, the 19th in program history. The Red Raiders finished 22-10 and reached the semifinals of the Big 12 tournament before losing to Oklahoma.
“Texas Tech is going to be an incredibly difficult matchup,” said Barnes Arico. “They’re a Big 12 program that really had a tremendous year this year. That’s going to be a tough game and if we have the opportunity to be fortunate enough to move on then we’ll look further ahead to Stanford.”
Texas Tech’s “signature” win of the season came on Feb. 19, when the Red Raiders knocked off Baylor, which holds the No. 1 Seed in the Dallas region. Texas Tech finished 8-8 in the Big 12, which was good enough for a sixth-place finish in the conference.
The Red Raiders are led down low with a pair of 6-foot-3 forwards in Kierra Mallard and Teena Wickett. Mallard averaged 12.1 points and 7.2 rebounds per game. Wickett was an All-Big 12 honorable mention, and had 9.8 points per game and six rebounds per game.
Other key players for Texas Tech include sophomore guards Casey Morris, who was All-Big 12 Honorable Mention with 9.8 points per game, and Monique Smalls, who was named to the All-Big 12 Defensive team.
Saturday’s matchup between the Red Storm and the Red Raiders will be the first-ever meeting between the two schools, and the winner will get to take on the winner of the game between No. 1 Stanford and No. 16 UC-Davis on March 21. The game between Stanford and UC-Davis will take place at 6:30 p.m. on Saturday.