Johnnies dropped by West Virginia

St. John’s women’s basketball team suffered its fifth loss in seven games to No. 14 West Virginia Saturday at Carnesecca Arena, 68-44.

After playing the Mountaineers (14-3, 4-1 Big East) closely for the first half, fatigue caught up with the Red Storm (10-7, 1-3 Big East) as it was outscored by 21 points in the second half.

“They are a very physical team and they wore us down a little bit,” said St. John’s coach Kim Barnes-Arico. “But one of our biggest weaknesses is when things get tight, we think we can make it up in one shot and it will be a 20-point shot.”

“We weren’t shooting well, but that doesn’t make up for our defense,” said senior Kia Wright. “You don’t only win games [with] offense. We can beat teams by stopping them on defense which is something we didn’t do today.”

Four of West Virginia’s starters scored in double figures, but the most impressive performance of the game came from West Virginia center Olayinka Sanni.

Sanni created several match-up problems for St. John’s and finished the game with 22 points and 15 rebounds.

“We let [Sanni] get too low,” said Tiina Sten. “We let her get right under the basket and she’s so strong once she gets the ball under the basket that there is nothing we could really do. We should have tried to catch her earlier.”

Sophomore forward Joy McCorvey led the Red Storm with a team-high 10 points, while Wright finished with eight rebounds.

“West Virginia is a very good team and we played them great in the first half,” Barnes-Arico said. “We just couldn’t score in the second.”

The Red Storm will play three of its next four games on the road at Syracuse, Seton Hall, and Georgetown, respectively