Women’s Basketball team rebounds with win

After a loss to Syracuse on Saturday, where the No. 22 St. John’s women’s basketball team blew a 14-point first half lead and lost by 11, the Red Storm were faced with a quick turnaround for their Feb. 22 game against Villanova.

But even a tough loss and a three-day turnaround didn’t stop the Red Storm from pulling off an important 57-46 win at Villanova on Tuesday night.

The win improves the Red Storm to 19-8 overall and 8-6 in the Big East, while Villanova fell to 10-17 overall, and 2-12 in the Big East.

“That was a tough game for us the other day, and our turnaround was really short, so it was important for us to

be able to get back on track and bounce back, and we were able to do that tonight,” said head coach Kim Barnes Arico.

Four St. John’s players finished in double figures, but Villanova’s offense made it very tough on the Red Storm defensively.

“They run a different style than most teams, they shoot a lot of threes, they took 27 on the night,” said Barnes Arico. “They run a Princeton-like offense, so you can never relax, so it was a tough game for us defensively, but we stepped up and played well.”

The Red Storm were led by junior Da’Shena Stevens and senior Coco Hart, who each finished with a team-high 15 points. Sophmore Nadirah McKenith finished with 12 points and seven rebounds, and Shenneika Smith finished with 10 points and 10 rebounds.

“I thought Coco and Da’Shena did a nice job of scoring on the inside,” said Barnes Arico. “Shenneika Smith had a nice game, she had a lot of boards and finished with a double-double.

Nadirah McKenith did a really nice job of knocking down freethrows.  So it was a pretty balanced attack, Da’Shena and Sky really rebounded for us, so I was pleased with the play of all of them.”

McKenith made eight free throws in the final 5:01 that extended the Red Storm’s lead and put the game out of reach for the Wildcats.

 

“We’re happy to come away with the victory.  Each time you play Villanova, especially at their place, it’s a grind-it-out type of game,” said Barnes Arico.

The Red Storm will return to action on Saturday afternoon against Pittsburgh at Carnesecca Arena at 2 p.m. for Senior Day, which will be a big game for the Red Storm.

“Da’Shena and Coco having a good game was really good for us to take into the [next] game as well as Shenneika’s rebounding. It’s going to be a tough game for us on Saturday,” said Barnes Arico.

Senior Day will feature the final home games at Carnesecca Arena for St. John’s seniors Sky Lindsay, Coco Hart and Tesia Harris.

“It’ll be senior day for Sky and Coco, and we have an opportunity to get them [Pittsburgh] at home, so I’m sure they’ll be really excited about that,” Barnes Arico said.