In desperate need of a lift, the St. John’s women’s basketball team looked to its anchor, Kia Wright, for some relief. And she delivered.
After two straight losses to Connecticut and Notre Dame, the Red Storm bounced back against Villanova for a 59-49 victory on Saturday at the Pavillion.
St. John’s was led by Wright, who fell just three assists short of her first career triple-double. The 5’7″ senior scored 15 points, handed out seven assists, and pulled down a career high 16 rebounds.
Wright had some backup in the form of sophomore Monique McLean who contributed 17 points and seven rebounds. McLean has now scored in double figures in eight straight games.
Fellow sophomore Angel Tate spearheaded the Red Storm offense in the first half, scoring 10 of her 14 points in the half with a 5-for-6 shooting mark.
After trading leads throughout the first half, a three pointer by Villanova sophomore Lisa Karcic gave the Wildcats a 20-19 lead. It would turn out to be their last lead of the game. The Red Storm would then reel off a 12-2 run to enter halftime up 31-22.
After cutting the St. John’s advantage to as little as five points, Villanova then watched as the Red Storm went on a 9-0 run to stretch their lead to 14. Villanova would pull within eight points in the closing minutes of the second half, but the Johnnies held the Wildcats’ attack at bay for the victory.
The game featured a milestone moment for Wright, as her 15 points moved her up to 13th all-time on the St. John’s scoring list with 1,030 total points for her career. Her 16 rebounds were the most by a Red Storm player since Danielle Chambers nabbed 17 boards in last season’s opener against Boston University.
The victory was just the second win against Big East competition this season for the Johnnies, who now sport an overall record of 6-12, with a 2-5 mark in conference play.