Storm women split tourney in San Diego

The St. John’s women’s basketball team faced two opponents going in opposite directions during the Surf ‘N Slam Holiday Festival at the Jenny Craig Pavilion in San Diego.


Wednesday night saw the Red Storm fall to No. 2 Duke, 105-57, and then rebound Friday to beat a now 0-11 Montana State team, 87-71.


Sophomore Angela Clark led the way in both contests, almost posting a double-double in each. Against the Blue Devils the 6-foot-1 forward scored 17 points and grabbed nine rebounds. She followed that with a 18-point, 16-rebound (a career high) performance versus the Bobcats. It was her seventh double-double of the season.


The Red Storm (10-2) never trailed Montana State in the consolation game, receiving a strong performance from Danielle Chambers. The junior forward scored 10 of her 17 points in the first half and helped St. John’s to a 45-37 advantage at the break. Kia Wright had 13 points, Monique McLean and Greeba Barlow added 11 and 10, respectively. Scotta Morton led MontanaState with 23 points. St. John’s also out-rebounded the Yellow Jackets, 47-29.


The night before, instead of playing a team that has not won this season, St. John’s faced one that has yet to lose.


Duke, who is now 11-0 after beating host San Diego in the festival’s final, jumped out to a 17-2 advantage with 13 minutes left in the first half. But St. John’s responded.


The Red Storm cut the lead to just eight on a three-pointer by McLean with eight minutes remaining in the half. St. John’s tried to limit Duke’s inside game, but fell victim to the Blue Devils connecting on a school-record 13 three-pointers in the game. Duke finished the first with a 44-26 lead.


They decided to try and take away our inside game and played a zone, particularly in the first half, and that left our shooters wide open,” Duke coach Gail Goestenkors said. “Then in the second half. we got our inside game going.”


Six Blue Devils finished in double figures, led by Chante Black (16 points) and Monique Currie (15 points).


For St. John’s, Monique McLean added 11 points and Kia Wright had 10.


“They are terrific,” St. John’s coach Kim Barnes Arico said. “They have an outstanding team. They have no weaknesses. They have great inside people and great guards. They have a fabulous team and a chance to win the national championship.”