The Independent Student Newspaper of St. John's University

The Torch

The Independent Student Newspaper of St. John's University

The Torch

The Independent Student Newspaper of St. John's University

The Torch

SJU unable to overcome Pitt

The Big East is not an easy conference, and no one knows that better than Kim Barnes-Arico and her St. John’s women’s basketball team.

The Red Storm’s last three opponents- DePaul, West Virginia, and Pittsburgh- are all ranked, and St. John’s was unable to come away with a victory in any of those games, falling to Pittsburgh 70-64 last night.

“It’s hard to keep your confidence up,” said St. John’s coach Kim Barnes-Arico, “[but] it says that we’re right there. It’d be nice to get one of those to boost confidence.”

Coming into last night’s contest Pittsburgh had rattled off eight straight wins, and was looking for its ninth straight at Carnesecca Arena. St. John’s started off the game matching up with the Panthers well, especially on the offensive boards.
Ultimately poor shooting from the field (21.2 percent) and a scoring drought of over six minutes, coupled with a solid FG percentage from Pittsburgh (54.2), doomed St. John’s.

Pittsburgh led by 12 at the half and extended its lead to 20 with ten minutes remaining in the contest.

Despite the large deficit, St. John’s battled back all the way until the end of the game, pushing it to a two possession game with only a minute remaining.

The Panthers staved off the attack, though, with clutch free throw shooting to outlast the Johnnies.

“I’ll take an ugly win over a pretty loss any day,” said Pittsburgh coach Agnus Berenato.

Pittsburgh’s Shavonte Zellous was a major thorn in St. John’s side, putting up 28 points while playing the full 40 minutes.
“Having Mercedes Walker in the game allows me to score,” Zellous said of Pittsburgh’s dominant center, who posted a double-double with 12 points and 11 rebounds.

St. John’s Kristin Moore led the comeback in the second half, posting 13 of her 15 points during the half. Moore has been battling severe knee tendonitis all season and saw her minutes diminish with the return of Kia Wright to the lineup.

Barnes-Arico also noted that Moore has been in and out of practice this season, indicating that she may have been out of rhythm.

“I got a chance to calm down, relax, and just play my game,” Moore said.
“I think she’s getting back to form,” Barnes-Arico said of Moore’s play.

Despite the loss, Barnes-Arico was able to take some positives out of the game.
“We were down 22 points with eight minutes to go and for us to cut it to six, it showed a lot about our team,” she said. “It showed that we weren’t going to quit.”

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