Women Roll Over Fairleigh Dickinson

Coming off a disappointing loss to Fordham on Saturday, the St. John’s women’s basketball team looked to rebound against Fairleigh Dickinson University.

The Red Storm responded well, routing the Knights, 70-50, on Tuesday night at Alumni Hall.

Behind the scoring touch of Patrycja Gulak and Danielle Rainey, St. John’s put on a dominating performance for 40 minutes.

“I was really pleased with our performance tonight,” St. John’s Head Coach Kim Barnes Arico said. “I thought we committed too many fouls early on but after we settled down, our overall effort was outstanding.”

The game was filled with a ton of aggressive play by both teams that led to countless bodies flying in many directions and numerous injury scares.

But the Storm proved to be the more aggressive of the two squads, outrebounding the Knights, 43-29.

“We always preach aggressive play and the girls really showed that tonight,” Barnes Arico said.

The Red Storm were led by Gulak, who totaled 17 points while pulling down 10 boards. Gulak was too much for the undersized Knights to handle.

“We are all really happy for Patrycja,” Barnes Arico said. “This is her best game of the year thus far and she played with the confidence we keeping stressing to her.”

“We were really hungry for a victory tonight because of the way we lost to them last year,” Gulak said. “It feels great to already surpass last year’s win total.”

In addition to the play of Gulak, Rainey played extremely well, adding 19 points, six rebounds and four assists.

The game got off to a slow start with FDU putting full-court pressure on the Storm from the tipoff. However, St. John’s was able to adjust and use it to their advantage.

“Early on the pressure caused a problem for us but by the end of the game we were getting open layups on it,” Barnes Arico said.

The Red Storm went on a 6-0 run with 14 minutes to play in the first half to separate themselves from the Knights.

Gulak was instrumental early on, scoring 10 of the Storm’s first 15 points.

The Johnnies continued their dominance throughout the second half, continually putting the pressure on FDU and responding strongly and quickly to every Knight run.

“I really felt like we played better defense and smarter offense throughout the game,” Gulak said.

St. John’s also shot exceptionally well, shooting 50 percent from the field and 72 percent from the line.

“We also say play aggressive, play with desire and play defense,” Barnes Arico said. “I feel we did all of that and more tonight.”

The Red Storm return to action on Dec. 15 at St. Peter’s College in Jersey City, N.J. at 2:00 p.m.

In other women’s basketball news, the Red Storm announced the signing of their first recruit for the 2003-2004 season. Secrett Stubblefield of Virgina signed a national letter of intent to come to St. John’s.

Stubblefield, a 5-6 guard, averaged 18.2 points and 5.0 rebounds at Okaloosa-Walton Community College.

“Secrett is very excited about coming to the Big East and playing for St. John’s,” Assistant Coach Joe Pellicane said. “She is a player that demonstrates exceptional maturity both on and off the court and will be a tremendous asset to our program. We are thrilled to have her as part of our team.”

She is the first St. John’s recruit signed by Barnes Arico.