Dec. 9, 2017
Box Score (PDF)
Postgame Press Conference
QUEENS, N.Y. - With a defense as blanketing as the snow that covered the campus and an offense as hot as the arena inside, the St. John’s women’s basketball team defeated James Madison, 81-64, on Saturday afternoon at Carnesecca Arena.
The Red Storm (6-2) used a 23-12 third quarter scoring outburst to propel the home side to its third-consecutive win and remain perfect on its home floor.
St. John’s also improves to 6-0 in games where they score 70+ points.
“I thought this was a great team win for us and probably one of our more complete games from start-to-finish,” said St. John’s head coach Joe Tartamella. “I’m really proud of our consistent play throughout the game, from the start to the end. We played very consistent on both ends and it was one of our better defensive performances as well with four players in double-figures.”
Junior Akina Wellere led the Johnnies with 18 points, but it was the play of redshirt freshman Tiana England that turned heads on the afternoon. The guard dropped 17 points on a perfect 6-for-6 day from the field, while adding eight assists, six rebounds, two steals, and a block in a dominating performance.
Senior Maya Singleton reached double figures for the second-consecutive game with 15 points and just missed out on her sixth double-double of the season with nine boards.
Sophomore Andrayah Adams provided a spark off the bench for the Red Storm with 17 points of her own on a trio of 3-pointers.
Today’s game marked the sixth time in eight contests where St. John’s had at least four players reach double figures in points.
James Madison (3-6) came out firing in the opening quarter, hitting four of its first seven shots to build a 10-9 lead at the game’s first media timeout. After the lead was built to four, the Red Storm erupted on an 11-2 run over the final 3:37 of the quarter to carry a 20-15 lead after the opening 10 minutes.
Both England and Wellere played big roles for the Johnnies on the run, with the redshirt freshman scoring five and the junior sinking a pair of 3-pointers.
The Dukes responded in the opening moments of the second quarter by quickly tying the game at 20 before St. John’s began to take over with another long run. The home side responded by building a 34-24 lead midway through the second quarter for its largest lead of the opening half.
St. John’s seemly couldn’t miss during its second-quarter run, knocking down four-consecutive shots from the field and finishing the half 6-for-12 from beyond the arc to carry a 38-30 lead into the halftime break.
The Red Storm also clamped down on the defensive end as the first half wore on, holding the Dukes to 8-for-25 (32%) and 2-for-15 (13.3%) from three following the hot start for JMU.
England finished the game’s opening 20 minutes with 10 points on a perfect 4-for-4 from the field, five rebounds, three assists, and a block.
Wellere finished as the leading scorer in the opening half with 11 points on a trio of 3-pointers.
After starting the first two quarters slowly, St. John’s came out of the halftime break with momentum. The Red Storm started the second half with a 15-4 run, forcing four JMU turnovers, to build a 53-34 lead at the halfway point of the third quarter.
The Red Storm finished the third quarter shooting 8-for-14 (57.1%) from the field to take a commanding 20-point lead heading into the game’s final stanza.
Adams took over the scoring duties in the third quarter, tallying eight points on a perfect 3-for-3 night from 3-point land, while England continued to be a facilitator with three helpers during the quarter.
The defense continued to shine in the fourth quarter for the Johnnies, holding the Dukes 3-for-22 (13.6%) from three and forced 19 turnovers in the game.
James Madison closed the deficit to 14, but could not climb any closer as St. John’s held on for the 81-64 win.
Kamiah Smalls reached double figures for the ninth-straight game for the Dukes, as the sophomore led all players with 19 points.
St. John’s returns to action on Tuesday, Dec. 12, hosting interborough foe Fordham at 7 p.m. (ET).