Red Storm Plays No. 20/17 Notre Dame Close, But Irish Come Away With Win|
March 7, 2009
HARTFORD, Conn. - The St. John's women's basketball team played No. 20/17 Notre Dame close in the second-round of the BIG EAST Championship, but the Fighting Irish pulled away in the second half for the 62-45 win at the XL Center.
BIG EAST Freshman of the Year Da'Shena Stevens led the Red Storm in scoring with 12 points, including 10 in the final half. The Stamford, Conn., native was 6-of-16 from the field and recorded a game-high three blocks.
Senior Kristin Moore had a strong performance off the bench for the Red Storm. She finished as the team's second-leading scorer with eight points, going 4-of-8 from the floor. Sophomore Sheree Ledbetter led the Red Storm in rebounding, grabbing eight to tie her personal best.
No. 5 seed Notre Dame (22-7) opened the game taking the early lead, 13-4. The Red Storm (17-14) responded by going on a 7-1 run to come within three, 14-11, at 7:09. Aricia Mitchell accounted for five Red Storm points during that stretch. After the teams traded baskets, Britney Murphy drained a 3-pointer to bring No. 13 seed St. John's within two, 18-16.
ND's Natalie Novosel quickly put the Fighting Irish in front by four on a layup at 2:08. The Red Storm answered by scoring six-straight points to take its first lead of the game, 22-20, at 1:01. Centhya Hart sparked the run by hitting consecutive jumpers and Sky Lindsay gave STJ the lead when she converted a layup on a fast break.
The second half was close as the teams traded the lead five times. After the Fighting Irish went ahead, 33-28, the Red Storm rallied and went on a 7-0 run to regain the lead, 35-33. Kelly McManmon capped the run with a trey at 11:55. Notre Dame did not stay down for long and got the momentum back into its favor to take a double-digit lead, 47-37, at 8:09. The Red Storm tried to rally and came within six twice, but could not come any closer.