St. John's Rings In 2013 With Delaware In Final Non-Conference Contest

Rookie forward Sandra Udobi.

Jan. 1, 2013

St. John's (6-5) vs. Delaware (8-3)
Jan. 2, 2013
7 p.m.
Carnesecca Arena (5,602) | Queens, N.Y.

PxP: Ralph Bednarczyk | Analyst: Julianne Viani 

QUEENS, N.Y. - St. John’s will begin play in 2013 hosting the Delaware Blue Hens on Wednesday, Jan. 2 at Carnesecca Arena. Tip off is slated for 7 p.m.

Wednesday’s Quick Tips
• Wednesday’s contest will be produced by STJ-TV for ESPN3. Play-by-play will be brought to fans from Ralph Bednarczyk, with color commentary by Julianne Viani.
• The Red Storm (6-5) got back to its winning ways after defeating NJIT at home, 55-37 on Dec. 28. Sophomore Amber Thompson led the way for St. John’s with her first double-double of the season with season highs in points (14) and rebounds (11). It was the eighth double-double for St. John’s this season.
• Delaware (8-3) will be looking to extend its current winning streak to four games after defeating Villanova and Duquesne in the Blue Sky Classic in Hanover, N.H. on Dec. 29-30.
• Wednesday’s contest is the fourth game in the all-time series between St. John’s and Delaware. The Blue Hens lead the series by one game, 2-1. St. John’s won the last meeting in the 2005 WNIT, 59-44 on March 17.
• St. John’s is 17-21 (.447) overall when playing the first game of the New Year.
• Wednesday is the third game for St. John’s against a team from the 2012 NCAA Tournament field. St. John’s is 0-2 against last year’s tournament teams in 2012-13.
• The contest against Delaware is also the second against a team from the Colonial Athletic Association. St. John’s defeated Hofstra, 73-47 on Nov. 17.
• As of the last reported NCAA Division I Statistical Rankings (Dec. 30), St. John’s leads the country in blocks per game (7.0) for the third-straight week. Senior Shenneika Smith is No. 12 overall in Division I with 2.9 per game. Smith leads the Red Storm in scoring with 16.9 ppg.
• Senior guard Nadirah McKenith is free throw away from 300.
• Wednesday’s contest is Big Brother Big Sister Night, YMCA Night and Take a Kid to Game Night.

Watch STJ-TV on ESPN3
• All of St. John’s women’s basketball home games will be carried live nationally on ESPN3 as a production of the newly-created St. John’s Television Network (STJ-TV).
• The Red Storm is the only women’s program to have a national presence for every home contest. St. John’s also had its annual St. John’s Basketball Media Day and Red Storm Tip Off carried live via ESPN3.
• ESPN3 is ESPN’s live multi-screen sports network, a destination that delivers thousands of global sports events annually and accessible online via, on smartphones and tablets via the WatchESPN app and through ESPN on Xbox LIVE to Gold members. ESPN3 is currently available to 74 million homes at no additional cost to fans who receive their high-speed Internet connection or video subscription from an affiliated service provider. The network is also available at no cost to approximately 21 million U.S. college students and U.S.-based military personnel via computers connected to on-campus educational networks and on-base military networks.

Red Storm vs. Blue Hens - The Series
• Wednesday’s meeting is the fourth overall between these two non-conference opponents. Delaware leads the all-time series 2-1, with the first meeting on Dec. 4, 2002. The Blue Hens won the first two meetings, 63-47 at Delaware and 59-44 on Dec. 8, 2003 at Carnesecca.
• St. John’s won the last meeting between the teams, 48-42 on March 17, 2005 in the Postseason WNIT. Angela Clark scored a game-best 18 points for the Red Storm on 8-for-12 shooting from the field with a game-high eight rebounds. Greeba Barlow added 10 points.

Scouting The Blue Hens
• Delaware (8-3) started the season ranked No. 11 and No. 10, but fell slowly out of the top 25 as the Blue Hens played all but their last five games without All American senior center Elena Della Donne. Della Donne returned to the starting line up in mid-December, but is listed as day-to-day as she battles symptoms of Lyme Disease.
• Della Donne leads the Blue Hens in scoring with 22.2 points per game in five games played. The senior also leads Delaware in rebounds per game with 9.8. She was named the Colonial Athletic Association Player of the Week on Jan. 1 after being named to the Blue Sky Classic Tournament MVP with two-straight double-doubles. Della Donne helped lead the Blue Hens to two wins over Villanova and Duquesne in the Classic, after averaging 20.0 points and 12.5 rebounds per game, in addition to six blocks, three assists and a steal.
• In addition to Della Donne, senior guard Lauren Carra and classmate Danielle Parker also average double figures. Carra is second on the team in scoring 13.3 points per game. Parker is third with 10.1 points per game, but is second behind Della Donne in rebounding with 9.1 per game.
• Delaware has won the last three games after losing to then-No. 9/8 Maryland on Dec. 20, 69-53.
• The Blue Hens were picked as the preseason favorite in the CAA Preseason Coaches Poll. Della Donne and Carra were voted to the CAA All-Conference team. Della Donne was chosen as the league’s preseason player of the year.
• Delaware is 2-1 against BIG EAST teams this year, most recently defeating Villanova, 59-45 (Dec. 29). The Blue Hens lost to Georgetown, 62-56 on Nov. 11, but also defeated Providence, 64-46 on Nov. 20.

Against the Colonial Athletic Association
• St. John’s is 31-11 (.738) against members against of Colonial Athletic Association. St. John’s is 2-1 over teams from the CAA since the 2009, when the Red Storm made the first of its three-straight runs to the NCAA Tournament. Earlier this season, St. John’s defeated Hofstra, 73-47, during the Carnesecca home-opener on Nov. 17.

Coaching Match Up
Joe Tartamella is 6-5 after making his coaching debut at the WBI Tip Off Invitational on Nov. 9-11. Tartamella earned his first-career coaching victory, 72-54, vs. UCF (Nov. 11). Tartamella has been part of the Red Storm coaching staff for the past nine years, moving up the ranks from graduate assistant to assistant coach to associate head coach; before he was hired as the eighth head coach in program history in April. He has been an integral part of four NCAA Tournaments appearances, with an undefeated record in the First Round, including St. John’s run to its first-ever NCAA Sweet 16 in 2012.
• Head coach of the Blue Hens, Tina Martin, is in her 17th season at the helm of Delaware’s women’s squad. She boasts a 317-180 record at Delaware and is the defending CAA Coach of the Year.

On This Date In St. John’s History
• St. John’s is 5-9 overall when playing on Jan. 2
• The last time St. John’s played on Jan. 2 was during the 2009-10 season. St. John’s lost to West Virginia at home, 54-50.
• The last time St. John’s won on Jan. 2 was during the 1998-99 season when the Red Storm defeated Seton Hall, 59-58 on the road. The last time St. John’s won at home on Jan. 2 was against Providence during the 1994-95 season. The Red Storm defeated the Friars, 85-83.

Last Time Out: STJ 55, NJIT 37
• St. John’s held first-time opponent NJIT to 37 points as sophomore forward Amber Thompson led the Red Storm in scoring and rebounding with season highs in points (14) and rebounds (11), her first double-double of the season. Senior guard Nadirah McKenith also helped St. John’s to a 55-37 non-conference win with 13 points.
• St. John’s outscored NJIT 32-22 in the paint, 18-4 off turnovers, 15-4 on second-chance points, and 8-4 on fast break points.
• St. John’s took its first lead on two McKenith free throws at the 19:02 mark of the first half and maintained the lead for the rest of the game.
• Rookie forward Sandra Ubobi scored four points and grabbed a career-high nine rebounds in a career-high 21 minutes.
• St. John’s used a 14-3 run to lead 25-7 with 3:20 left in the first half. In the final 1:48 of the period, NJIT went on a short 6-1 run to cut the Red Storm’s lead to 13, 26-13 at the break. In the first half, NJIT shot 25 percent and scored just six field goals.
• In the second half, the Highlanders cut the Red Storm lead to eight, 32-24, after a jumper by Johnson at the 16-minute mark. But a jumper by junior guard Keylantra Langley at 15:01 put the Red Storm back up by double-digits.
• From there, St. John’s slowly extended its lead to 20, as Udobi hit the first of two free throws with 44 seconds left to play, giving the Red Storm a 55-35 lead.

St. John’s Stiflin’ D
• The NJIT Highlanders’ 13 points in the first half (Dec. 28) were the lowest scored by an opponent this season and the lowest since St. John’s held BIG EAST-foe Seton Hall to 12 in the first half on Feb. 4, 2012 in South Orange, N.J.
• The Red Storm held NJIT to just six field goals in the first half, the fewest STJ has allowed since holding Cincinnati to 6-for-21 shooting in the first half of St. John’s 51-34 win over the Bearcats on Jan. 21, 2012.
• NJIT’s 37 points were the lowest scored by a STJ opponent this season.

• Senior guard Shenneika Smith continues to lead St. John’s in scoring and rebounding with a near double-double: 16.9 points and 9.1 rebounds per game. Smith has been St. John’s leading scorer in six games so far this season. She has also been the leading rebounder in six games.
• Senior guard Nadirah McKenith has led STJ in scoring twice, while junior guard Briana Brown has been the game-high scorer once and sophomore forward Amber Thompson twice.

Cleaning The Boards
• Against NJIT, the Red Storm outrebounded the Highlanders 52-28, a +24 rebounding margin, the highest this season and the highest since the 2010-11 season when St. John’s outrebounded Columbia, 56-30 (+26) on Nov. 19. That same season, St. John’s also outrebounded Arkansas State, 48-27 (+21) (Nov. 22).

Against 2012 NCAA Tourney Field
• St. John’s will play against 10 teams who received berths to the 2012 NCAA Tournament. Wednesday’s game against Delaware is the third game against an NCAA Tournament squad this season. The Red Storm is 0-2 against tourney teams, with losses to Texas (Nov. 9) and Duke (Dec. 9).

Up Next
• BIG EAST play begins for St. John’s as the Red Storm travels to Piscataway, N.J. to play the first of a home-and-home series against the Rutgers Scarlet Knights.
• St. John’s and Rutgers will tip off at 11:30 a.m. on Sunday, Jan. 6 at the Louis Brown Athletic Center. The game will be televised on ESPNU. St. John’s will host Rutgers on Saturday, Feb. 23.




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