Before heading to the Big East Tournament this weekend to face Syracuse, the St. John’s women’s basketball team finished up an eventful season Monday night against the No. 14 University of Pittsburgh.
The Johnnies trailed the entire game against the third-ranked team in the conference, and would fall by a score of 79-60 at the Peterson Events Center.
“Pittsburgh played well,” said head coach Kim Barnes-Arico, “they have a lot of weapons.”
Four players scored in double digits for the Panthers (22-6, 12-4) who avenged a recent loss to No. 7 Louisville earlier in the weekend. Leading all scorers was Shavonte Zellous who finished with 18 points, followed by Xenia Stewart with12 and Pepper Wilson with 12 points and 11 rebounds.
The Johnnies (16-13, 4-12) trailed by 28 during the late minutes of the second half, and have now lost four of their last five games by double digits.
For the 16th time this season senior Kelly McManmon scored in double digits, finishing with 12 points. The consistent McManmon also recorded what was a career-high five assists in the loss.
“Kelly is one of the best shooters in the country,” said Barnes-Arico. “Teams have been keying on her, and she still gets her shot off.”
Sophomore Sky Lindsay finished with a team-high 16 points, along with four rebounds and four assists. The fluent floor general posted 10 of her 16 points in the first half, but shot just 2-4 from the field in the second.
“Pittsburgh pressed us well, said Lindsay, “it was a matter of making shots.
“We weren’t making the easy shots and they made all the tough ones.”
The Storms roller coaster season is headed for the Big East Tournament this Friday where the 13th-seeded Johnnies will face state rival 12th-seeded Syracuse in the tournament opener.
Earlier in the season the Johnnies lost a one point heartbreaker to Syracuse on Valentine’s Day.
“I think we have a great opportunity,” said Barnes-Arico. “I’m excited to face Syracuse, we’ll try to do better than last time.”