Singleton's School Record Sends St. John's Past Kansas

Dec. 18, 2017

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QUEENS, N.Y. - Highlighted by a 24-rebound performance from Maya Singleton that matched a 41-year old program record, the St. John’s women’s basketball team defeated Big 12 foe Kansas, 65-53, in overtime on Monday night at Carnesecca Arena.

“Certainly another exciting game and I’m glad we are on the other side this time,” said head coach Joe Tartamella. “It was really a fun finish today and I am really proud of this group and we have an extremely tough task on Thursday.”

Singleton’s 24 rebounds matched a 41-year old mark set by Mary Doyle against Brooklyn on Jan. 19, 1976. Singleton also scored 14 points and added three steals for her seventh double-double of the season in just ten games.

Monday’s win also marked the first time in program history that St. John’s (7-3) has played in back-to-back overtime games, coming off a double-overtime thriller versus Fordham last week.

With Kansas (8-2) leading by one with less than a minute to play in regulation, the Red Storm defense stood tall by forcing a 10-second violation to get the ball back for a chance to take the lead.

After a missed 3-pointer, the Jayhawks split a pair at the line to build a 51-49 advantage with 27.7 remaining on the clock.

Right out of the timeout, Singleton drove to the basket and finished at the rim to even the game at 51. The senior then made a great play on the defensive side to force the go-ahead shot out of bounds, and looked to have sent the game into overtime.

Following a long review, 0.5 seconds were added to the clock and Kansas was given a final look at a win. On the inbound play, Austin Richardson appeared to have won the game for the Jayhawks with a buzzer-beating shot, but following another review, it was determined that the clock had expired and the game headed into the extra session.

In the overtime, St. John’s dominated by outscoring Kansas, 14-2, and holding the Jayhawks to an 0-for-7 effort from the field and forcing a pair of turnovers.

Momentum swung to the Johnnies during the OT period when Imani Littleton blocked a shot and allowed the home side an opportunity to attack in transition as Akina Wellere found Alisha Kebbe in the corner for a 3-pointer that sent the Carnesecca crowd into a frenzy and gave the Red Storm a 56-51 lead.

From there, St. John’s never looked back as the Johnnies rolled through the remainder of the extra session.

Playing their first Big 12 opponent at home since 2007, the Johnnies struggled out of the gate by firing 4-of-18 in the opening quarter as the Jayhawks carried a 16-13 lead into the second stanza.

The first half continued to be dominated by the defenses, with both teams scoring in the single digits during the second quarter. St. John’s held KU to zero points over the final 4:18 of the half to send the game to the break tied at 22.

Wellere finished as the game’s leading scorer, accounting for 18 points and four assists. Three-time reigning BIG EAST Freshman of the Week, Tiana England, was held off the scoresheet until the final moments of the overtime, however, the freshman chipped in seven assists and four steals.

The defense also held Kansas’ leading scorer, Kylee Kopatich, to a season-low seven points and five turnovers.

Monday marked the first time under Brandon Schneider that the Jayhawks have lost a game after holding a lead inside the five minute mark of the fourth quarter.

St. John’s will close out its non-conference slate on Thursday against in-state adversary Buffalo at 11 a.m. for its annual field trip day.




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