The tears in Joy McCorvey’s eyes were evident as her name was called out during the Senior Day celebrations Saturday at the St. John’s women’s basketball team’s home finale against the Villanova.
A three-year captain, McCorvey has experienced many highs and lows during the past four years as the women’s basketball program has progressed from Big East bottom-feeder to conference contender, but the highs culminated Saturday with a 69-42 win over the Wildcats, making the 2009-10 team the winningest in team history.
“My freshman year was a little rough, but you keep believing in your coach and your teammates,” said McCorvey. “Coach [Kim Barnes Arico] kept promising us we’d have a good season and now, my senior year, what a great way to go out. You keep faith in your coach, faith in your team, and things will work out.”
Prior to the game, McCorvey, guard Kelly McManmon and forward Victoria Hodges were honored with the Senior Day tradition of being introduced to the crowd with a bouquet of flowers in hand and their parents at their side. The players, however, weren’t the only ones excited by the festivities.
“[Senior Day] was extremely emotional for me,” said Barnes Arico.
“They’ve just been tremendous kids.
Throughout their career it has never been about them it’s always been about the team. The greatest thing for me is that they will get an opportunity to go to the NCAA tournament.”
Sophomore guard Da’Shena Stevens, who was recently named a midseason candidate for the 2010 Women’s Naismith Trophy, an award given to the nation’s best player, scored a team-high 22 points, adding seven rebounds and three steals. McCorvey added a double-double with 12 points and 10 rebounds. Rookie Shenneika Smith scored 15 points.
Stevens said the impact of McCorvey, McManmon and Hodges have had a lot to do with her development as one of the conference’s best players.
“It means a lot when you have people to look up to,” said Stevens. “They’ve been through seasons when they haven’t won too many games. We can look up to them. They’ve been great on and off the court. They’ve been great helping me out and we are going to finish things strong with them and that’s important.”
For the three seniors, this has been a season that has been a long time coming for them and they felt that this victory was the perfect way to finish their last game at Carnesecca Arena.
“It was pretty emotional,” said McManmon.
“It’s been a long time coming. It was nice to have such a great crowd. To be on the court with my team for the last time was great, especially [for the team] to go out [on Senior Day] with a win.”
The Red Storm (23-5, 11-4 Big East) rounded out the regular season with a road win over Pittsburgh Monday, locking up the No. 4 seed and a two-round bye during the upcoming Big East tournament.