Fightin’ Irish deliver knockout

 

Last Tuesday, the No. 23 St. John’s women’s basketball team had arguably one of it’s best performances of the season in a 29-point blowout win over Cincinnati, and it seemed as if the Red Storm were just beginning to hit their stride.

But on Jan. 23, things took a sudden downturn, as the Red Storm were blown out on the road 69-36, against No. 11/10 Notre Dame.

The loss drops the Red Storm to 14-6 overall, and 3-4 in the Big East, while Notre Dame improved to 17-4 overall and 6-1 in the Big East.

“It’s really tough, I think Notre Dame is a great team, and they’re probably going to finish in the top ten, top five teams in the country,” said Head Coach Kim Barnes Arico. “Playing at their place, it was the first time for a lot of the kids in the program, so it was a really tough experience. So we’ve just got to bounce back and continue to improve.”

The loss continued a stretch of consecutive road losses against top 25 teams dating back to Jan. 2007.

“We’re not really focusing on that,” Barnes Arico said of the streak. “We’re just focusing on getting better, trying to improve every day, and hopefully win some games down the line. We’ve got a lot of road games this year, being away from home, and I think all of these experiences, whether they’re wins or losses will hopefully help us down the stretch.”

The Red Storm were led by Senior Centhya “Coco” Hart, who had a team-high of eight points, while Sophomore Shenneika Smith contributed seven points in the losing effort.

“It was really disappointing.  I feel like we’re a much better team than what we showed, but we can’t just be sad over this loss, we just have to practice and get ready for our next game,” said Nadirah McKenith, who contributed six points and six assists.

Things just did not go well for St. John’s in many areas.  The Red Storm hit just three out of eleven free throws, while Notre Dame went 10-for-14.  Notre Dame also outrebounded St. John’s 42-31, and the Red Storm shot a mere 32.6 percent from the floor.

“We need to work on our offense, because we didn’t really score that much, and we didn’t handle pressure that well,” said Coach Barnes Arico. “So we’ve got to work on handling defensive pressure, as well as finishing on the offensive end.”

St. John’s trailed 13-11 after the first official time out, but that would be the closest the Red Storm would get the rest of the game.

St. John’s trailed 39-21 at halftime, and then were outscored 30-15 in the

second half to close out the 33-point blowout loss.

“I think their defensive pressure kind of wore us down a little bit, and forced us into turnovers, and then they were scoring off of our turnovers,” said Barnes Arico. “They got a lot of easy baskets in transition off of our turnovers. So I think their defensive pressure kind of got to us after a certain period of time, and we kind of ran out of gas.”