St. John's holds off William & Mary, 92-81

Nov. 17, 2017

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QUEENS, N.Y. - Behind a school-record 36 points in the third quarter, the St. John’s women’s basketball team improved to 2-0 for the first time since the 2014-15 campaign with a 92-81 victory over visiting William & Mary on Friday night.

“I thought the third quarter was the story of the game,” Head Coach Joe Tartamella said. “We played tremendously coming out of halftime, made shots at the rate that we feel like we can. William & Mary is a very well-coached team, they have girls who are tough and they kept us on our toes. To come into another game and see five players in double figures and have 15-plus assists and to close a game the way that we did, I thought it was great. Now we just have to get ready for a big three-game swing down in Florida.”

For the second-straight games, five Red Storm (2-0) players scored in double figures, led by junior Akina Wellere and freshman Qadashah Hoppie’s 21-point efforts.

Wellere scored 17 of her 21 in the second half on 5-of-6 shooting from the field and a perfect 6-for-6 effort from the free throw line in 18 minutes in the latter stanza.

Hoppie couldn’t miss early on, hitting her first four attempts from the field. The reigning BIG EAST Freshman of the Week finished 8-for-13 from the floor, hit four of her five attempts from beyond the arc and added two steals defensively in 27 minutes.

Sophomore Alisha Kebbe added 10 points and two dimes, while redshirt freshman Tiana England scored 11 points and dished out four assists.


 

 

Senior Maya Singleton posted her second-straight double-double with 13 rebounds and 12 points. Singleton also rejected three shots and came away with three steals in 30 minutes before fouling out.

Friday also marked the first time a pair of Johnnies scored 20-or-more in a game since Jade Walker poured in 32 and Aaliyah Lewis added 21 against Marquette at Carnesecca Arena last season. Additionally, Friday’s contest was the first time the Red Storm scored 90-or-more points in a game since St. John’s beat DePaul, 96-86, back on Jan. 11, 2014.

St. John’s and William & Mary (2-1) played an even first quarter with no team leading by more than three points at any time. After the Tribe knocked down a three to go up 13-10 with just over three minutes left in the opening period, Hoppie and Kebbe combined for seven unanswered points to give the Red Storm a 17-13 advantage with 1:45 left in the first. The Tribe scored the next five points to go back up, 18-17, before Imani Littleton converted a lay-up with 14 seconds left. Just before intermission, William & Mark hit a pair of free throws to bring a 20-19 lead into the second.

The Tribe opened the period with three-straight points before the Johnnies answered. After a lay-up gave the visitors a 25-21 lead with 8:27 to go in the half, St. John’s rattled off seven unanswered points to take a 28-25 lead with 6:16 to go. Later in the second, Andrayah Adams hit one of her three from beyond the arc before Hoppie knocked down a jumper to give the Red Storm a 35-32 advantage. With time winding down, the Tribe hit a jumper to take a 36-35 lead into the locker room.

Trailing by one to begin the second half, St. John’s scored the first five points of the third to take a 40-36 lead with just over nine minutes left in the period. After the Tribe cut it to 42-41, the Red Storm scored 11-straight to take a 53-41 lead. Wellere was the star during the run, scoring nine of the 11 points. William & Mary responded with six unanswered to make it 53-47, but the Johnnies responded with eight-straight. Hoppie started the spurt with a three, England followed with a lay-up before Wellere capped the run with an old fashioned three-point play.

Later in the third, Hoppie hit another three to make it 64-49 before Adams drained a triple to give the Red Storm a 67-51 advantage with 1:51 left in the quarter. In the final seconds, England hit a jumper to give the Johnnies a 71-55 lead entering the final 10 minutes.

In the fourth, William & Mary fought back to get within four, 85-81, with 1:34 left to play, but Adams buried a three from the corner to spark a 7-0 run to close out the game.

St. John’s returns to action next Friday, Nov. 24 when the Johnnies take part in the Gulf Coast Showcase. The Red Storm opens the tournament against Western Michigan at 11 a.m. at the Germain Arena in Estero, Fla., for the first of three games in three days. The following day, St. John’s will play either Rutgers or defending National Champion South Carolina. The Johnnies will wrap up play on Sunday against an opponent yet to be determined. Fans can catch the Red Storm in action at FloHoops.com.

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