WBB Looking To End Slump

The St. John’s women desperately need to find a formula for victory asthey take on Providence tonight.

The reigning Sweet 16 participants have now fallen to 9-9, putting the Red Storm’s chances of making it to the NCAA Tournament to play on their home court at Carnesecca Arena in serious doubt.

The last two contests have ended in heartbreak for the Red Storm. On Jan 23., then-No. 22 Syracuse pulled out a 60-57 win after Orange freshman Brittney Sykes stole a St. John’s inbound pass and hit a half-court runner as time expired.

Four days later, St. John’s battled then-No. 13 Louisville to the very end but fell, 60-57 after senior stars Shenneika Smith and Nadirah McKenith both missed three-point tries on the team’s final possession.

It seems that everything that went right Johnnies just a year ago is going wrong now.

In his first year at the helm, St. John’s head coach Joe Tartamella has had to deal with the loss of senior shooting guard Eugeneia McPherson to an ACL tear in addition to the burden of having to replace the departed Da’Shena Stevens, one of the best players in program history.

With their backs to the wall, the Johnnies will be bent on breaking their losing streak and building some kind of momentum in order to make sure the season that once had such high hopes doesn’t turn into a something much less.

But while the season certainly isn’t over for the Johnnies, it is a good time to bask in the final months of Shenneika Smith and Nadirah McKenith in their final months in a Red Storm jersey – despite the team’s struggles this season – while at the same time keeping an eye on the future. In that regard, freshman Aliyyah Handford has stepped in and made an immediate impact, starting 12 games in the absence of McPherson and scoring 8.6 points per game, a bright spot in what has been a star-crossed season.