Storm lose to Fighting Irish
Joseph Manniello, Assistant Sports Editor
March 10, 2003
Filed under Uncategorized
The St. John’s women’s basketball team had no luck on Feb. 12 when they traveled to South Bend, Ind. to take on the Fighting Irish of Notre Dame.
After losing their star player, senior guard Danielle Rainey, due to NCAA eligibility requirements, St. John’s (8-15, 2-10) could not keep up with Notre Dame (14-8, 6-5), as they were defeated 76-48.
“We definitely miss her. She was a tremendous part of our team and everyone needs to realize that until we find the final answer, we need to move on,” St. John’s Head Coach Kim Barnes Arico said.
With 8:35 remaining in the first half, Notre Dame built their lead to 20-9.
Junior Shemika Stevens hit a jumper as the buzzer sounded to signal halftime, which cut Notre Dame’s lead to 25 at 35-10.
During the first stanza, the Irish made seven of eight free throws and shot 50 percent from the field, while the Johnnies made no trips to the charity stripe and shot 36 percent in the first half.
Getting to the foul line was important for St. John’s, as the Red Storm’s first six points of the half came on foul shots, which included Stevens converting three free throws after being fouled on a three-point attempt.
Junior Crystal Andrews had St. John’s first field goal of the half at 13:48 to make the score 50-28 in favor of the Irish.
From then on, it was more of the same as Notre Dame, behind its 56.5 percent shooting from the field in the second half, went on to win by 28 points.
The game was decided in the paint, where Notre Dame scored 40 points to St. John’s eight.
They also out-rebounded the Storm, 33-29, and forced 24 Red Storm turnovers.
“I think that’s the strength of their team,” said Barnes Arico, referring to Notre Dame’s inside dominance. “They have some big people inside and they really took advantage of us inside.”
The Red Storm was led by Stevens, who scored a career-high 20 points on six-of-14 shooting from the field in her ninth straight game with double-digit points.
“I thought Shemika Stevens really stepped up for us,” Barnes Arico said. “She has been our most consistent player day in and day out. We ask her to play 40 minutes every game and she does what ever we ask of her.”
Sophomore Patrycja Gulak chipped in with 10 points and a team-high six rebounds.
“It’s crucial for Patrycja to step up,” Barnes Arico commented. “We need her to rebound and be more aggressive and play like she did last game.”
The Fighting Irish had four players in double-figures, led by senior Alicia Ratay’s 19 points.
Jacqueline Batteast added 16 points and seven boards, while Courtney LaVere and Teresa Borton had 13 and 12 points, respectively.
There is still a chance for St. John’s to qualify for the Big East Tournament.
“We definitely need to have at least one more win,” Barnes Arico remarked. “We think there are still possibilities to make it. If we get one more win we are definitely in the mix.”
The Johnnies travel to West Virginia to take on the Mountaineers Saturday afternoon.