Women’s basketball loses by 1 to DePaul
Two last second free throws would probably have ended the St. John’s women’s basketball teams four game skid. But only capitalizing on one, resulted in a 59-58 familiar defeat, to the Depaul Blue Devils (16-5) Tuesday evening in Carneseca Arena.
The Johnnies (13-6) have now lost five games in a row, each to conferenece opponents, and the last three by a total of just five points.
“I’m hoping that all of these tight games are preparing us for the long haul of our season,” said head coach Kim Barnes-Arico.
The conference stretch has been tough on the Johnnies (1-5 Big East) this season who haven’t won a game against a member of the Big East, since defeating Providence in the first week of January.
Despite the Blue Devils press, the Johnnies controlled the pace of the first half. They jumped to an early 21-16 lead that would grow to a 10 point advantage midway through
Senior Kelly McManmon contributed all of her eight points in the first half as the Johnnies headed into halftime comfortably ahead 36-28.
High hopes from the Storm deflated quickly as the Blue Devils came out of the half on a 8-1 tear. Crucial play from freshman Da’Shena Stevens had kept the Storm in the game. Stevens finished with 14 points, but only six came in the second half.
The Blue Devils stayed in the game, closing in on the Johnnies lead for much of the second half. A big three pointer by Sky Lindsay put the Johnnies up by six with less then 10 minutes to go.
But that would be the end of the momentum high for the Storm. But costly turnovers and missed easy baskets by the Storm, helped the Blue Devils make a 13-4 run, resulting in their first lead since the beginning of the first half.
Led by Deidre Naughton, the Blue Devils didn’t look back and took their lead on the Storm in to the very last seconds. The Johnnies would have a chance to tie the game after junior Aricia Mitchell was fouled by Felicia Chester with 1.5 seconds left in the game. Mitchell made only the second free throw.
Like the recent games, the Johnnies were not able to capitalize in the closing seconds to earn the victory.
“These last few games have been very close and frustrating,” said Stevens, who hauled up the last shot in the closing seconds of the game.
“The pressure and defense was expected,” said Lindsay. “But we have to look forward and stay positive.”
Senior Monique McClean finished with a quiet 11 points and six rebounds for the Storm. Lindsay finished with 14 points and 3-5 from behind the three point line.
Depaul now leads the series against the Johnnies 3-1, and is on a three-game winning streak through their conference play.
Depaul sophomore Sam Quigley finished with 11 points and 5 steals. Her persistent defense and timely scoring along with 13 points and 11 rebounds from Keisha Hampton propelled the Blue Devils to victory.
The Storm will have to regain momentum on the road while they reach the thick midpoint of their Big East schedule when they face Seton Hall on Saturday.