St. John’s Cruises Past Marist in Opening Round of Postseason

Double-doubles from Littleton and Singleton helped the Red Storm advance to the next round of the NIT.

Nick Bello, Assistant Photo Editor

For eleven straight seasons, the St. John’s women’s basketball team has made it to the postseason. This season was no different as they clinched a bid in the Women’s National Invitational Tournament.The Red Storm played their first game of the tournament Thursday night as they faced Marist in the first round of the tournament.

St. John’s got off to a hot start early as their persistent press caused a string of turnovers that led to easy baskets. At the first media timeout in the first quarter they led 13-4 as a result of each starter contributing at least one basket.

The Red Storm were rolling going into the second quarter, leading the Red Foxes 21-12.

The second quarter was more of the same as the Red Storm continued to dominate. They were able to build a 15-point lead going into halftime thanks to eight points and six rebounds from Imani Littleton and nine points from Akina Wellere.

In the third quarter, the Red Storm started to pull away as Marist couldn’t cut the lead. They were led by both Littleton and Maya Singleton, who each had 10 points. Wellere also contributed 12 points and went 5-9 from the field.

St. John’s was off and running in the fourth as they cruised to a 21-point win over Marist to advance in the tournament.

Both Singleton and Littleton racked up double-doubles in the 68-47 win. The Red Storm had five players who finished the game with double figure points, something that Head Coach Joe Tartamella was happy with.

“I am really proud of our effort, we were really similar to how we were earlier in the year with five players in double-figures,” Tartamella said. “I thought we did a really good job communicating and we played with energy.”

Littleton, a senior, recorded her first double-double of the season with 12 points and 10 rebounds. Tartamella expressed how big her performance was in the win after the game.

“When she comes away with a double-double that means she is playing at her best,” Tartamella said about Littleton’s performance. “We are a much better team when she does the things she is good at.”

The Red Storm will be back in action next week in the second round of the WNIT as they will play the winner of Friday night’s Penn and Albany game. With their performance Thursday night, a WNIT championship run looks to be achievable for coach Tartamella and his team.