Tartamella Earns 100th Win in 60-50 Victory over Providence

Jan. 22, 2017

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QUEENS, N.Y. - Leading 50-48 with under three minutes to go in the fourth, the St. John’s women’s basketball team used a 10-0 run to take a 60-48 advantage with 17 seconds to play as the Johnnies pulled away from Providence, 60-50, at Carnesecca Arena Sunday afternoon. With the win, Head Coach Joe Tartamella became the fifth coach in program history to win 100 games.

“I was proud of our effort today,” Tartamella said. “Coming in with some unknowns, having an injury to a player and a limited bench, I thought we did a great job of being able to finish this game where we’ve struggled in the past few games to score the ball.”

Akina Wellere matched a career-high with 20 points on 8-of-13 shooting. The sophomore from Chicago, Ill., knocked down two of her three tries from behind the arc and was a perfect 2-for-2 from the free throw line.

Aaliyah Lewis added 10 points, nine assists, four rebounds and two steals. The senior guard committed just two turnovers in 40 minutes of play.

Jade Walker chipped in 10 points on 4-of-6 shooting while grabbing five rebounds. Imani Littleton led the way down low, tying a career-best with 13 rebounds. The junior also sent back four shots and amassed seven points, hitting three of her five attempts from the field.

As a team, St. John’s (13-7, 5-4 BIG EAST) converted on 24 of its 53 tries from the field (45.3 percent) while limiting Providence (9-11, 1-8 BIG EAST) to 39.6 percent from the floor. From the free throw line, the Red Storm went 7-for-12, while the Friars went 4-for-6.

St.  John’s jumped out to a 12-2 lead less than four minutes into the contest, thanks in large part to the passing of Lewis. The 5-5 guard assisted on four of the first five Red Storm baskets. From there, Providence outscored the Johnnies, 10-4, but St. John’s took a 16-12 lead into the first intermission.

With the Red Storm leading 22-18 midway through the second, the Friars scored five unanswered points to take their first lead of the contest, 23-22. St. John’s responded with a 7-0 spurt to close out the quarter and led 29-23 at the break. The run was highlighted by an Andrayah Adams three and a Lewis lay-up just before the horn.

In the third, Wellere took over. The sophomore scored nine of her 20 points and gave the Red Storm an 11-point advantage, 44-33, with 1:52 to play in the period after converting a lay-up. After Providence hit a three with 24 seconds remaining in the quarter, Wellere knocked down a jumper with 4 seconds on the clock, putting the Red Storm ahead, 46-36 entering the fourth.

Providence got within striking distance in the fourth, cutting the deficit to two points, 50-48, but Wellere sparked the 10-0 run that put the game out of reach. After the Friars hit a three with 3:32 to play, Wellere drained a jumper with 2:55 on the clock. Walker followed with a jumper of her own, giving the Red Storm a 54-48 advantage. Then, with the shot clock winding down, Lewis buried a three, putting the Johnnies ahead, 57-48. Later, with the Red Storm in front, 58-48, Lewis converted a lay-up, giving the Red Storm a 60-48 edge.

Sunday’s win snapped a two-game skid for the Red Storm and was the 13th-straight win over Providence in the all-time series. Dating back to 2008, St. John’s has won 18 of the last 19 meetings between the two schools.

St. John’s returns to the hardwood on Friday when Butler visits Carnesecca Arena. The first tip between the Red Storm and Bulldogs is set for 7 p.m. on the BIG EAST Digital Network.




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