Jan. 5, 2018
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QUEENS, N.Y. - In another thrilling contest at Carnesecca Arena, the St. John’s women’s basketball team defeated Creighton, 72-65, in overtime on Friday night in Queens.
Playing in its third overtime game in the past five home contests, the Red Storm (8-7, 1-3 BIG EAST) was led by Tiana England’s first career double-double with 17 points and 10 assists. The 17 points matched a career high and the redshirt freshman also recorded four rebounds and three steals.
“Well it certainly feels a lot more fun to be on this side after a stretch of a lot of difficult games,” said St. John’s head coach Joe Tartamella. “I’m really proud of our players; I mean we certainly had some adversity in the last week and a half in how we’ve played and some injuries.”
With less than a minute to play and the game tied at 59, Creighton’s Audrey Faber gave the Bluejays their first lead since the second quarter at 61-59 with just 32.3 to play.
Leading 62-59 with under 18 seconds to play, Creighton (9-5, 3-1 BIG EAST) chose to foul and sent Andrayah Adams to the line where Adams split the pair, however, Maya Singleton grabbed the offensive rebound, found England streaking to the basket, and tied the game at 62 to send the game into overtime.
Alisha Kebbe came out firing in the overtime session, hitting a pair of 3-pointers to give the Red Storm a 69-64 lead midway through the extra period.
St. John’s closed out its first BIG EAST win of the season by holding the Bluejays without a point for the final 2:15 of overtime to earn a 72-65 win.
After getting out to hot starts in its previous two games, St. John’s struggled to find its offensive rhythm early in the contest. The Red Storm failed to connect on its first five shots from the field before England snapped the 4:04 scoring drought with a layup to get the home side on the scoreboard and cut the deficit to 6-2 early.
Despite struggling on the offensive end, the Johnnies stepped up their defensive game in the opening quarter. Creighton was limited to just 15 points and was held without a field goal for over four minutes of game action.
England continued to ignite the offense for the Red Storm as the first quarter moved along as the Stamford, Conn. native accounted for seven of the team’s 12 points in the frame.
St. John’s worked its way back into the game by shooting 5-of-10 from the field after the 0-for-5 start to finish the period trailing, 15-12.
The second quarter didn’t seem to slow England down as the guard drilled her second 3-pointer of the game in the opening minute of the stanza to tie the game at 15.
The triple secured England her ninth game reaching double figures in points this season and only her second time reaching that mark since returning from the Christmas break.
St. John’s captured its first lead of the game after Alisha Kebbe tracked down an offensive rebound and found Qadashah Hoppie for a 3-pointer from the wing to give the Johnnies a 25-24 lead with under four minutes to play in the first half.
After Creighton responded with a pair of baskets to regain the lead at 29-25, Hoppie answered with five-consecutive points and the Red Storm defense held the Bluejays without a basket for the final 2:54 of the half, sending the Johnnies into the locker room with a 30-29 advantage.
England and Hoppie each led the half with ten points and a pair of 3-pointers while each also added three and two assists, respectively.
After not scoring a point in the first half, Singleton started to impose her will in the opening minutes of the third quarter. The senior scored back-to-back buckets and rejected a shot on the defensive end to help the Red Storm build a 39-32 lead at the 6:30 mark of the period.
Trailing by seven, Creighton looked to dial up the defensive pressure, but the Johnnies were ready. England threaded a no-look pass to a cutting Imani Littleton who took on the contact and scored the basket to give St. John’s its largest lead of the night, 43-35, with just over four minutes to play in the third quarter.
The Red Storm held the Bluejays to 4-of-14 (28.6%) shooting from the field and forced four turnovers in the third quarter to build a 50-42 lead heading into the final ten minutes.
Creighton came out firing to open the game’s final quarter, starting the fourth on a 7-2 run to cut the St. John’s lead to 52-49 with just under eight minutes to play.
Littleton finished with her first double-digit scoring effort of the season with 11 points and nine rebounds.
St. John’s dominated the paint in the win, grabbing a season-high 18 offensive rebounds and outscored the Bluejays, 16-5, in second-chance points.
A trip to the Queen City is on deck for St. John’s as the Johnnies will take on Xavier on Sunday at 2 p.m.