Storm sloppy in tune-up

The rule of thumb for the St. John’s women’s basketball team last season was quite simple: get the ball to Kia Wright and Angela Clark, play defense, limit turnovers, shoot three-pointers, and that would put them in position to win the game.

Yet even in the most meaningless of games, what happens when the formula falls apart?

In its preseason tune up last Thursday against a team called Team Concept, St. John’s committed 31 turnovers, shot 6.7 percent from downtown and still managed to win 54-45 in a game that was closer at the end than the score would lead one to believe.

Simply put, the Johnnies were rusty, had butterflies and were forced to find another way to win the game.

Clark scored 14 points and grabbed 14 rebounds to lead the team, while Wright didn’t score a field goal, but was a perfect six-for-six from the charity stripe and provided a spark with nine rebounds and nine assists.

Those numbers, however, didn’t make the difference in the victory.

But Danielle Chambers did.

The senior forward scored 12 points and was a force on the boards, grabbing 15 rebounds which paved the way for St. John’s dominance on the glass, out-rebounding Team Concept 58-39.

The overall performance left a bit of concern for St. John’s coach Kim Barnes-Arico.

“I think it was sloppy, but it was a good test for us,” said Barnes Arico. “We needed to pull together at the end when they took the lead and we need to execute to win the game.”

Clark added that the lack of focus early on seemed to be contagious with the rest of the team.

“We came out very flat and I think we played very sloppy,” Clark said. “We weren’t focused from the start. I think we just gotta get focused and [if we] just come out playing aggressive, we’ll have a better game.”

The Red Storm held a lead as big as ten points and was up 27-20 at halftime.

Team Concept, however, capitalized on 12 second-half St. John’s turnovers, scoring 14 points off them.

Sparked by an 11-0 run, Team Concept jumped to a brief 40-38 lead.

St. John’s responded from their sluggish play with a jump shot from Clark to tie the game at 40-40 with just over six minutes left in regulation.

They nailed the coffin shut soon after when Monique McLean scored the lone Storm three-point basket of the evening.

With the regular season starting this Friday against Boston College at Carnesecca Arena, Barnes Arico is glad the Johnnies played sluggishly in the preseason before it actually counted.

“Tonight was a great tool for us,” she said. “We need to work on our passing, taking care of the ball, limiting our turnovers and also not relaxing and playing hard defense for the entire game.”

With the preseason behind them, sloppy must turn to focus this Friday.