St. John's defeats No. 24 Texas A&M 72-70 at the Maggie Dixon Classic at Madison Square Garden on Dec. 22, 2013.
On Handford: Had an explosive freshman campaign and was an unanimous selection to the BIG EAST All-Freshman Team... was named the BIG EAST Freshman of the Week three times... tabbed the All-Metropolitan Basketball Writers Association Rookie of the Year... noted by ESPN as the "best unsigned point guard in her class and best at her position" ... ranked No. 9 as a point guard and No. 55 nationally by ESPNHoopGurlz ... "ultra-athletic" and versatile guard with a great body who can slash and finish in traffic ... she is active on the glass and is not afraid to draw contact and invade the paint ... a good size for either back court position ... she's clever with the ball and can fashion her own finishes, all the way to the rim or off pulls when the pass isn't available ... she was the first official signed recruit of the Joe Tartamella Era.
Joe Tartamella On Handford: "Aliyyah has great natural ability and her talent as a player is off the charts. She can fly and finish in transition as well as anyone that I have coached. She has worked very hard on her game over the summer developing her outside attack and we are seeing that payoff early in practice. Coming off a successful freshman season we look for her to show us growth in all areas and we feel she is one of the top guards in the country."
As A Freshman in 2012-13: A three-time BIG EAST Freshman of the Week, Handford was tabbed to the 2012-13 BIG EAST All-Freshman Team after seeing action in 31 games and starting in 25... averaged 9.4 points and 4.5 rebounds per game... Was named the All-Metropolitan Basketball Writers Association Rookie of the Year... Scored 16 points in a career-high 36 minutes against Delaware (Jan. 2)...Also made six free throws and pulled down seven rebounds, with two assists and five field goals against Delaware (Jan. 2)...Scored in double figures against Seton Hall (Jan. 12) with 14, also added eight rebounds...Scored in double-figures for the sixth time of the season and for the fourth-consecutive game against Pittsburgh (Jan. 16). Handford recorded 11 points and grabbed six rebounds...Recorded a 15-point performance against Syracuse (Jan. 23)...Scored 11 points, grabbed six rebounds and set a career-high with six assists at Providence (Jan. 30)...Scored a career-high 17 points to go along with four rebounds and four assists against then No. 3/2 UConn (Feb. 2)...Finished with 10 points, eight rebounds and three steals vs. Georgetown (Feb. 9)...Finished one rebound shy of her first career double-double after scoring 16 points and a career-high nine boards at USF (Feb. 13)...Scored 12 points and grabbed six rebounds against Rutgers (Feb. 23)...Finished with five points, two rebounds and two assists at Villanova (Feb. 27)...Led the team tying her career-high with 17 points at Seton Hall (March 2)...Finished with seven points, five assists, four rebounds and three steals against DePaul (March 4)...Scored six points and grabbed six rebounds against No. 13/15 Louisville (March 10)...Notched her 16th double-digit scoring performance of the season against No. 18/15 Dayton (Mar. 24) in the first round of the NCAA Tournament.
At Malcolm Shabazz High School: A 2011-12 First Team All-New Jersey selection ... helped Shabazz to four-straight state championships as the leading scorer all four years ... finished her career with 1,650 points, more than 600 rebounds and an overall record of 125-7 ... helped Shabazz win four Essex County Tournament titles, three-consecutive Group 2 championships and a Group 3 title ... voted the 2012 Essex County Player of the Year, Senior of the Year and Top Individual Performance(s) of the Year by NJ.com ... selected to NJ.com's All-Essex first team ... as a senior she averaged 16.3 points, 4.3 assists, 4.2 steals and 4.1 rebounds per game ... shot 14-for-20 from the field to finish with a career-best 33 points, 11 assists, nine rebounds and six steals in a 100-64 victory over Point Pleasant Boro in the 2011-12 Group 2 final in Toms River ... averaged 12.5 ppg, 6.3 apg, 6.8 rpg and 4.4 spg as a junior and surpassed the 1,000-point plateau.
Personal: Aliyyah Nicole Handford ... nicknamed Liyyah ... daughter of Delores Michelle Handford ... has one sibling, Madison Sky Walker (6) ... a sport management major ... denotes Ms. Watson as the most influential person in her life ... her favorite movie is "Love And Basketball," her favorite food is pizza and her favorite television show is "The Game."