Party like it’s 2011! Johnnies mirror KBA’s old squad

The St. John’s women’s basketball has been turning heads with their
impressive play this season.  The Red Storm is currently ranked No. 22 in the nation with a 19-6 record while
sitting on top of the Big East thanks to a program-leading 11 consecutive wins against conference opponents.

This season is reminiscent of the 2011-12 women’s team that stormed all the way to the Sweet 16.  This year’s team is looking for a deeper run in this year’s tournament.

One person carries the success of two years ago to this young team and that person is redshirt senior guard Eugeneia McPherson.  The junior guard at the time was a vital component to the triumphs of that historic season.

McPherson was the only Johnnie to play and start in all 34 games that season averaging 11.8 points per game while adding 3.1 rebounds.  When asked about the similarities between this season and two years ago McPherson said, “We still try to get out and run. We still try to be a transition team.”

Thanks to big games in the past, McPherson’s leadership has been
pivotal this season.  “Being in the position before, playing in Big East tournaments and a Sweet 16 gives me more under my belt to be a leader,” McPherson said.

This year’s team is full of young talent, but the emergence of sophomore guard Aliyyah Handford has really taken the Red Storm to the next level.  Handford is leading the Lady Johnnies with 16.1 points per game and has been named Big East Player of the Week twice this season.

Some would say that St. John’s success this year in the Big East is due to the conference realignment.  Top teams such as Notre Dame and Connecticut are no longer on the schedule for St. John’s but don’t tell this team that this
conference is any easier.

“I think it’s a pretty competitive conference, McPherson said. “I think it’s even more dangerous because anybody can win any game.   Alliyah Handford added, “It doesn’t matter who we play or where it is.  We can beat anyone as long as we play as a team.”

Like any good team there must be chemistry not only on the court but off it as well.  This team has built a great camaraderie off the court that has helped them gel this season.

“Everybody hangs out together off the court,” said Handford.  McPherson added, “This might be one of my favorite years as far as being with my team off the court because we’re closer this year than any other year.”

With the season winding down and the Big East Tournament not too far away, the St. John’s women’s basketball team will get their chance to show that lighting can strike twice.

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