Women’s Basketball Releases 2018-19 Schedule



Head Coach Joe Tartamella will look to guide his team to another 20 win season.

Brendan Myers, Sports Editor

With college basketball season opening up official practice on Tuesday, St. John’s Women’s Basketball Head Coach Joe Tartamella can officially start preparing his team for what appears to be a loaded 2018-19 schedule.

Taking a different path than last year’s opening two games being within the confines of Carnesecca Arena, Coach Tartamella’s squad is looking at five straight games to open up the season away from Queens.

St. John’s opens up their season on Nov. 9 in a Friday showdown against local foe Iona College in New Rochelle, N.Y. The Gaels struggled immensely last season, finishing 2-28 on the season. However, the Gaels feature a roster with 10 underclassmen looking to make their mark on the program in Head Coach Billi Chambers’ fourth season.

From there, the Red Storm wait exactly one week to head further upstate to take on Army, a program that finished 17-14 a season ago.

After playing those two road games, the team then heads down to the U.S. Virgin Islands for a set of three games at the Paradise Jam. It is here where Tartamella’s squad will learn a lot about themselves.

They open up on Thanksgiving night with a showdown against Big 10 opponent Purdue. The Boilermakers have a rich history of success in basketball. Purdue Head Coach Sharon Versyp has led the school to four Big Ten Tournament titles and a school record nine NCAA Tournament appearances.

After playing Purdue, St. John’s has one of the biggest games of their season just one day later. It’s a matchup with the dynastic women’s basketball program of UCONN. However, don’t expect St. John’s to back down from the Huskies. The last time the two teams met, when UCONN was still a member of the Big East, current Assistant Coach and former Red Storm player, Shenneika Smith, hit a game-winning three to end UCONN’s 99-game home winning streak.

The Johnnies then close out the Paradise Jam with a game against another Power-5 opponent, Ole Miss. The Rebels have had an up-and-down record over the past few seasons, finishing 12-19 in the 2017-18 campaign.

 The Red Storm then play their first home game of the season on Nov. 29 against Delaware State.

The next three games for the Johnnies see them play two ACC schools, at Wake Forest and Florida State, a team that made last year’s NCAA Tournament. In between those two games, the Red Storm will host Yale. The Bulldogs are coming off a strong campaign, finishing 19-13. Yale is the defending Women’s Basketball Invitational Champions. Road games against La Salle and James Madison close out the team’s non-conference schedule.

Similar to the way that the non-conference season begins, the Johnnies open up Big East play with three consecutive games on the road. They play at Seton Hall, Xavier and Butler before returning to Carnesecca to take on Providence, who the Red Storm failed to muster up a win against last season.

After hosting Creighton, the Johnnies head out to the Midwest for what could be their toughest two-game stretch during the conference season. The Johnnies have a weekend trip in mid-January against DePaul and Marquette, the two other teams the Johnnies failed to register wins against last season.

The team then closes out the month of January and opens up February with a pivotal four-game home stand with games against Georgetown, Villanova, Butler and Xavier. The Johnnies swept Butler, Xavier and Georgetown last year and split against Villanova.

After road trips to Creighton and Providence, the Johnnies then host Marquette again at home before playing their lone game of the season at Madison Square Garden against DePaul. The Red Storm did not play a game at MSG last season, but beat Xavier at the Garden two seasons ago.

The team then closes out the season with two road games against Villanova and Georgetown, before closing out the season against Seton Hall on March 3 at Carnesecca.

It’ll be tough this season, but if Coach Tartamella has proven anything during his tenure in Queens, it is that his teams will battle and end up in a position to contend for significant postseason play.