DEFENDING RANK: NOT TOO CRUCIAL FOR STORM WOMEN

The No. 25 St. John’s women’s basketball team enjoyed its first win as a ranked team on Sunday, defeating South Florida, 78-71.

A loss could’ve meant being knocked from the rankings. How worried was the team?

Not too much, apparently.

“I wasn’t really focused on [our] No. 25 rank,” said junior Kia Wright.

“Every game we have to come out ready,” she added. “Twenty fifth [or] 200th, we’ve just got to come out ready to play.”

Senior Greeba Barlow similarly does not put too much stock into worrying about the team’s rankings.

“Hopefully we don’t get knocked out,” she said. “But if we do, I feel we’re a top-25 team anyway, so if we play like that then we’ll get there.”

She added: “We want to continue to run and be a top seed in the NCAA.”

This is the attitude coach Kim Barnes Arico likes to see.

“I try not to let them think about it because the more we think about it, we’re taking focus off what we need to do,” she said. “The reason we’ve been able to get to this point is because we only worry about the next game.”

 

SHORTS

With the win, the St. John’s women are 9-0 at home (7-0 at Carnesecca Arena, 2-0 at Madison Square Garden)

The game marked the first trip back to Carnesecca in six games.

“It felt great to be back at home,” said Barnes Arico.

“We got used to the Garden,” joked Wright.

Angela Clark, despite leaving the game with an injury, recorded her ninth double-double of the season with 16 points and 10 rebounds.

The women are ranked No. 23 in the latest Associated Press top-25 Poll, released Monday. The Red Storm jumped two spots from last week after debuting in the poll at No. 25.

Last week’s initial ranking was the first for St. John’s in 22 years.

St. John’s went 1-1 for the week, with a 61-51 setback at No. 9 Rutgers and a 78-71 victory over South Florida.