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The Independent Student Newspaper of St. John's University

The Torch

The Independent Student Newspaper of St. John's University

The Torch

Local Rivalry Ends in St. John’s Win Against Seton Hall

Captains Unique Drake and Jillian Archer put up a collective 36 points for the Red Storm.
Senior guard Unique Drake put up 26 points against the Pirates.
Torch Photo / Sara Kiernan

The St. John’s Women’s Basketball team returned to Carnesecca Arena on Feb. 13 with a 68-57 win against the Seton Hall Pirates. After going 0-2 on the road last week in games against No.15 UConn and Butler, this win improves their record to 15-11 overall and 9-5 in the Big East, moving to fourth in the conference.   

Sophomore guard Jailah Donald opened up the scoring for the Red Storm with a wide open three point shot. She finished the contest with seven points and four assists. 

From the jump, sophomore guard Tara Daye opened a fast pace for St. John’s by intercepting a pass and taking off up the floor. With eight points, three rebounds and two assists, she improved on each possession. She assisted in 23 points converted from turnovers for the Red Storm. 

In a tale of the first two quarters, the Pirates came out victorious over St. John’s after the Red Storm squandered a 20-12 first quarter lead. Fatigue seemed to catch up to the Red Storm as Seton Hall went on an 8-0 scoring run mid-way through the second quarter. “I thought in the first half, we struggled mightily,” Coach Joe Tartamella said after the game. “Our defense was not as good as it needed to be. ‘If we wanted to win’ I told them at the half that ‘we needed to play better defensively.’” 

His words had an impact, as the team opened up the second half by taking control of the floor and extending their lead to as much as 12 points in the fourth quarter. 

The Red Storm outrebounded Seton Hall 36-25. Adding to that total was junior forward Phoenix Gideon (two pts.) and senior guard Ber’Nyah Mayo who put on five boards a piece. Mayo (13 pts.) finished in double-figures for the ninth time in the last 10 games,adding a season high of four steals to her impressive scoring front. 

Both teams shot well from the charity stripe as St. John’s went 85% completion from the line, .7% behind Seton Hall. From the perimeter, St. John’s shot 46.2% compared to Seton Hall’s 31.3%. 

Midway through the fourth quarter Mayo faced a hard hit on a breakaway layup attempt after a nifty steal. Seton Hall freshman guard Savannah Catalon got charged with an intentional foul, putting senior guard Unique Drake at the line for two, aiding the 11-0 scoring run that sealed the deal against the Pirates. 

Making for the perfect pairing once again, Drake and graduate forward Jillian Archer combined for 36 points on Tuesday night. In a narrow loss against Butler last week, the two combined for 45 points and shot 56.3 percent from the field. 

Archer completed her eighth double-double of the season with 10 points and 12 rebounds. 

“I’m really just trying to play to my strengths and do what I can to help my team win,” Archer said after the game. “I tell them all the time, ‘if you shoot it, I’m gonna go rebound, I got your back.’”

Drake continued her strong senior season with 26 points against the Pirates. Tuesday’s performance, coupled with a 22 point night against Butler last Friday, puts her at No. 13 on the all-time scoring list for the women’s basketball program. The South Carolina native is averaging 19 points per game and is the key for this Red Storm offense. 

Tartamella spoked about her leadership after the game. 

“Her maturity level from day one to now is through the roof,” he said. “She’s wanted this for a long time. It’s one thing to be in that position. It’s one thing to be successful in that position.” 

“Unique is probably the last one I would have of a five year kid that stayed and fought through stuff and figured it out,” Tartamella continued. “She’s got my loyalty for life.” 

St. John’s will return to Carnesecca Arena on Friday Night to face off against No. 19/20 Creighton at 7 p.m.

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About the Contributor
Isabella Cautero, Sports Editor
Isabella is a senior journalism major serving as the Sports Editor for The Torch. She is minoring in sport management. Outside of The Torch, she works as an academic tutor at the University Learning Commons. She likes to spend time with her friends, read, play with her dog and watch the New York Rangers or Yankees. On any given day you can find her listening to her favorite artists, Taylor Swift and Harry Styles. Isabella can be reached at [email protected].
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    Anthony CauteroFeb 14, 2024 at 12:24 pm

    Another great victory in the Big East!!

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