Turnovers Plague Johnnies In South Bend

The St. John’s women’s basketball team was handed its first loss in Big East conference play following a 74-50 loss at Notre Dame on Sunday afternoon.

The Irish (16-1, 5-0) out-classed the Red Storm (9-7, 3-1), who were out-rebounded 48 to 22 and committed too many turnovers to give themselves a chance to stay in the game.

“We turned the ball over too many times which is something we were trying to avoid,” St. John’s head coach Joe Tartamella said. “They capitalized on the mistakes we made and we paid for it. We played a very good team who are worthy of their ranking.”

The Johnnies fell behind early and never recovered, as Notre Dame went on a 24-9 run to start the game.

While St. John’s was struggling to find its groove in the first half, Skylar Diggins and Natalie Achonwa made easy work of the St. John’s defense. The two combined for 22 of the Irish’s 39 points in the first half. The Johnnies entered the interval shooting just 35.7 percent from the field, being outshot 30-10 in the paint.

Achonwa continued to add to her stat line early in the second half, converting back-to-back layups following a defensive rebound, forcing Tartamella to call a time out. The Irish continued onto a 12-2 run, stretching their lead to 24 points.

Notre Dame held St. John’s stars Shenneika Smith and Nadira McKennith to just 6-for-26 shooting throughout the game and held the Johnnies as a whole to 35 percent from the field.

However, despite the loss being the worst of the season for Tartamella’s squad, the head coach believes his team has done a proficient job at dealing with the injuries that the team has been stricken with, including the loss of senior guard Eugeneia McPherson to an ACL tear.

“We’ve been shuffling around our roster because of our injuries,” Coach Tartamella admitted. “The lineup’s been different because of injuries. But I feel we’ve been pretty good.”

The Johnnies will look to rebound from the loss when they host Syracuse. tonight.