Alisha Kebbe struck for 12 points off the bench
Dec. 12, 2017
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QUEENS, N.Y. - On a night that featured 13 lead changes and eight ties, the St. John’s women’s basketball team dropped a heartbreaker to Fordham, 67-64, in double overtime on Tuesday evening at Carnesecca Arena.
The loss was the first on their home floor for the Johnnies (6-3), their first to an unranked opponent, and snapped a three-game winning streak.
“I thought it was a good basketball game, but I don’t think we played very well,” said St. John’s head coach Joe Tartamella. “I thought we executed fairly well down the stretch, but just weren’t able to convert and I thought rebounding hurt us down at the end where we could have controlled some of those deflections and tips.”
In what was the first double overtime game for the home side since a 73-67 loss vs. Indiana State on Dec. 21, 2014, St. John’s was able to battle back from deficits in the fourth quarter and opening overtime, but was unable to sink a game-tying shot at the buzzer as the Rams (6-3) held on for the win.
Maya Singleton registered her sixth double-double of the year, tallying 15 points and 13 rebounds while matching a career-high with four steals. Tiana England also equaled a career-high with 17 points on 7-of-15 shooting to lead the Red Storm.
With the Johnnies carrying a one-point lead into the fourth, Fordham opened the quarter with an 8-0 run over 4:03 to take a 51-45 advantage with just over two minutes remaining. Alisha Kebbe hit a 3-pointer to pull the Red Storm within three and halted a 4:28 scoring drought to give St. John’s life.
Following a pair of made free throws to give the Rams a 53-47 lead, Andrayah Adams took the game over on the offensive end for the Johnnies. The sophomore drove the basket and finished a tough, one-handed layup and drew a foul to cut the deficit to a pair. The guard then tied the game at 53 with under a minute to play off a scoop-and-score that brought the Carnesecca Arena crowd to its feet.
Both teams had chances to win the game in regulation, but 3-pointers rattled out on both ends as the game headed into overtime.
In the overtime period, it was the Red Storm who took control in the opening minutes, holding the lead with just two minutes to play. However, Bre Cavanaugh hit a deep 3-point shot to give the Rams a 61-58 lead with just 1:20 remaining. On the ensuing St. John’s possession, Akina Wellere grabbed a clutch offensive rebound and kicked the ball out to England, who nailed the trey and tied the game again.
Following a Fordham timeout, Singleton came up with one of her two blocks on the evening to give the Johnnies their second opportunity to win the game, but England’s shot just rattled out and sent the game into double overtime.
Fatigue began to set in during the second extra stanza, with St. John’s having scored the only three points of the frame with just 2:41 remaining. Trailing 64-61, Fordham’s offense awoke in the final moments, closing the game on a 6-0 run to seal the win. Cavanaugh scored the final four points of the evening for the Rams, including a clutch three-point play to give the visitors the lead for good.
The opening half was defined by defense for the Red Storm, holding the Rams without a field goal for 12:52 stretch of the game’s opening 20 minutes.
St. John’s took its largest lead of the game in the second quarter, building a six-point lead after shooting 12-for-16 in the final moments of the opening period and the start the second.
Cavanaugh emerged as the game’s leading scorer with 20 points, while the nation’s leading rebounder, G’mrice Davis, was held to 11 points and 14 rebounds in 48 minutes of playing time.
The Red Storm dominated off the bench, outscoring the Rams, 25-2.
“We have to be able to learn from it and move forward and get ourselves ready for the last two non-conference games, which again will be difficult,” stressed Tartamella.
St. John’s returns to the court next Monday when Big 12 opponent Kansas comes to Queens. Tip-off is scheduled for 7 p.m.