Five Game Winning Streak Crucial for St. John’s Over Break

Behind strong team and individual performances, the Red Storm found their groove in Big East play.

Kyle Suta, Staff Writer

Over the winter break, the St. John’s women’s basketball team played nine games, eight of those coming against Big East opponents. Despite a string of four consecutive losses, the team rebounded and managed to win five straight conference games before falling to Seton Hall this past weekend.

Even during their four-game losing streak, the Johnnies lost three of those games were decided by five points or less. The team has battled hard all season for Head Coach Joe Tartamella. Two of the losses were against Marquette and DePaul, who occupy the first and seconds spots in the Big East standings, respectively. St. John’s took Marquette to overtime and only lost by a pair.

The Red Storm returned home and defeated a good Creighton team, 72-65 in overtime. Sophomore guard Alisha Kebbe scored 17 points to go along with seven rebounds. Freshman guard Tiana England also put up 17 points and recorded 10 assists.

The team added another win on a trip to Ohio to defeat Xavier 67-63. Star forward Maya Singleton dominated in the second half with 12 points and 11 rebounds. St. John’s only held a one point lead in the fourth until Kebbe hit a three-pointer and Singleton made a layup to put the red storm up 61-52. Xavier cut it to 61-56 but the Johnnies were able to make free throws and get stops on defense to hold off the Musketeers.

Following the trip to Xavier, St. John’s was able to win back to back games by double digits, defeating Butler 73-55 and Georgetown 64-41. The Red Storm only had a 4-point lead at the half against Butler. Tartamella’s team was able to overcome foul trouble and eventually put the Bulldogs away in the fourth quarter. The Red Storm closed the game by outscoring Butler 25-13 in the final frame.

Against Georgetown, the Johnnies played strong defense throughout the game. They played especially well in the first quarter, holding the Hoyas to just six points. England had a well-rounded performance with seven points, five rebounds, five assists, and a steal.

Freshman guard Qadashah Hoppie notched double digits in points in multiple games, while Singleton was able to carry the team. She notched her 13th double-double of the season in the win over Villanova and tied a school record with 24 rebounds in a victory over Kansas a week before Christmas.

The Johnnies squared off Sunday at Seton Hall and came up short, 62-57. Singleton grabbed 12 rebounds and Kebbe led the Johnnies with 15 points. Singleton now ranks in the top 5 in double doubles in the nation, according to RedStormSports.

The Johnnies will hit the road for two more games before returning home. They’ll be back in action on Friday at Creighton and then again on Sunday at Providence.