Women’s Basketball Stuns UConn In Hartford For The First Time In A Decade

St. John’s pulls themselves into the top five and shows that they are a possible contender for the NCAA tournament.

Kadaja Bailey playing against Butler on Feb. 25.
Torch Photo / Sara Kiernan

The St. John’s Women’s basketball program took down No. 4 UConn, 69-64, in Hartford, Connecticut for the first time in a decade. 

It makes a huge impact for our program,” Tartamella said after the game. “Anytime you get a win over a top ten or top five team, especially on the road, it means a tremendous amount for the work these kids have put in.” 

The last time the team beat UConn, head coach Joe Tartemella was still an assistant coach on the team and assistant coach Shenneika Smith was a player.

The game started off with the Johnnies controlling the tempo. By the end of the first quarter, the Johnnies were in the lead 21-15 over the Huskies.

The Huskies started to pick up the pace in the second quarter. St. John’s kept control of the first half but had a very small lead going into halftime with a score of 35-30. 

I think it speaks to the maturity of our team,” said [class year] Danielle Patterson in a postgame media conference. “When we came in at halftime, we knew the job wasn’t done yet; we still had 20 minutes to play, and we had to play as hard as we possibly could.”

The Huskies started the second half off with a 13-0 scoring run to reach their largest lead of the game at 43-35. Then, Jaylan Everett’s  3-point shot propelled the Johnnies into an 8-0 scoring run of their own  that tied the game at 46. 

When we got down, we didn’t get down on ourselves,” Patterson said of the team’s second-half play. “We just continued to play and see it through. We were able to go to some really good people at the end and get it done.”

Going into the fourth quarter, the Johnnies were ahead by three. It was back-and-forth till the very end but Kadaja Bailey sealed the victory by making two free throws with only 23 seconds left to play. 

Patterson and Bailey tied with 20 points and Everett had 17 points and a career-high eight rebounds. Patterson recorded 20 points this game which is her highest scoring total for this season. 

The team is now 20-7 overall, marking the first time since the 2016-2017 season the program recorded a 20-win  season. 

Talks about the team earning an NCAA tournament bid are now getting louder after this huge victory. “This certainly gives us a much better opportunity than where we were about three hours ago,” Tartamella said.

We have more to do, but this certainly was a win that we can feel good about. I think people will respect it, especially on the road. We had work to do; we knew that,” Tartemella said. “

The Johnnies are playing their final home game Feb. 24  during senior night against Georgetown at 7 p.m.