St. John’s is 3-0 when four score in double figures in 2010-11.
The Red Storm outscored the Golden Eagles, 46-18, in points in the paint, 37-11, in points off turnovers and 10-4 in fast break points. STJ also outscored Southern Mississippi 23-10 in points off the bench.
McPherson’s 23 points marks the fourth time this season STJ has had a 20-point scorer. STJ improves to 3-1 on the season with a 20-point scorer.
St. John’s will host UCSB for the first time in program history tomorrow at 2 p.m. in the championship game of the tournament, while Southern Mississippi will play Fresno State at noon in the consolation game.
Head coach Kim Barnes Arico last saw UCSB head coach Lindsay Gottleib in the first round of the NCAA Tournament in 2005-06, while Gottlieb was an assistant at Cal. STJ defeated Cal, 78-68, in that matchup.
McPherson set career highs in points (23), field goals (9), minutes (36) and tied a career high with four steals. It is her fifth double-digit scoring effort of the season and second 20-point game in 2010-11.
Smith’s 19 points marks her third-consecutive game in double figures. It is also the third time this season the sophomore has recorded 18 points or more.