Hoppies’ 21 Leads St. John’s Past William & Mary

Johnnies win second straight game as five players reach double figures.


Torch Photo/Nick Bello

Qadashah Hoppie powered the Red Storm with 21 points off the bench, tied for the team lead.

Brendan Myers, Assistant Sports Editor

Head Coach Joe Tartamella was the first to admit after the game that his team’s 92-81 victory over William & Mary did not go according to plan.

In a game riddled with turnovers that quickly escalated into a second-half shootout, St. John’s turned 21 Tribe miscues into 27 points, proving to be a key difference in the game.

“I thought we started out sluggish, it’s been a pattern over the first two games,” Tartamella said after the game. “We need to start out games better.”

Freshman Qadashah Hoppie came off the bench and provided a much needed spark for a reeling Red Storm offense that opened the game shooting 1-13 from the field.

“Sometimes we start off sluggish, and I have to come in and basically try to spark it up” Hoppie said after the game. She did that and more, coming off the bench and immediately shooting 5-5 from the field to start out her night.

Akina Wellere matched Hoppie’s 21 points, 18 of them coming in the second half. After shooting 1-for-6 in the first half totaling and only three points, Wellere came out of the locker room with a completely new mindset. The junior from Chicago played 36 out of 40 minutes.

Senior Maya Singleton also chipped in 12 points and 12 rebounds, her second double-double in as many games in the early stages of the season.

Hoppie, Wellere, and Singleton were among five Johnnies that scored in double figures on the night, something that Tartamella thought was a positive sign. Tiana England scored 11 points, and Alisha Kebbe scored 10 off the bench.

After a back-and-forth battle in the first half, St. John’s offense came alive in the third quarter, outscoring the Tribe 36-19 in the frame. Despite St. John’s leading by as many as 16, William & Mary refused to go away. Led by center Abby Rendle, who scored 22 points, the Tribe got the game to as close as four.

The Tribe ran a full court press for most of the game that caused the Johnnies some problems.

With the game in the balance at 85-81, Andrayah Adams hit the biggest shot of the night to give St. John’s a comfortable seven-point lead as time began to wind down.

While some of the offensive performance pleased Tartamella, he didn’t think it was a perfect one.

“I don’t know if I’m more happy we scored 92, or more upset about giving up 81,” he joked at the press conference.

With the win, St. John’s moves to 2-0 on the season. After waiting a week from last week’s season-opening win against St. Francis for tonight’s game, the Red Storm will have to wait another week to travel down to Estero, Fla. for the Gulf Coast Showcase.

The team is slated to play Western Michigan in the first game next Friday at 11:00 a.m. A potential matchup against defending national champion South Carolina could happen if both teams win their opening games.