No. 20 St. John's Hosts West Virginia For Annual Play4Kay Night On CBSSN

Eugeneia McPherson.

Feb. 21, 2012

(20/RV) St. John's vs. (RV/RV) West Virginia
Tuesday, Feb. 21, 2012 at 7 p.m.
Carnesecca Arena (5,602) | Queens, N.Y.
Play4Kay Night
Brent Stover (PXP) | Debbie Antonelli (Analyst)

QUEENS, N.Y. - St. John's all-time winningest women's basketball coach Kim Barnes Arico and the Red Storm will look to extend its winning streak to six games as No. 20 St. John's welcomes West Virginia to Carnesecca Arena for the annual Play4Kay Night. The BIG EAST contest, a rematch of last year's regular season finale and St. John's BIG EAST Tournament Second Round win, will air live on CBS Sports Network with Brent Stover and Deb Antonelli on the call. Tip off is slated for 7 p.m.

St. John's fans can also follow live stats via GameTracker on Fans can also follow live twitter updates via @stj_wbasketball. Join the conversation with the hashtag #stjwbb.

PINK IT OUT: The Red Storm will be wearing their pink uniforms to go along with pink sneakers, laces, warm up shirts and game day accessories. The St. John's staff will also be wearing pink in support of the cause.

Tuesday's Tip Off Quick Hits
• St. John's (18-8, 10-3 BIG EAST) made national headlines this week as the Red Storm upset then-No. 2 Connecticut on Saturday, 57-56, ending the Huskies' 99-game home court winning streak among other streaks. The Red Storm has upset two-straight league opponents on their respective home courts, preceding the win at UConn with a 61-52 victory at then-No. 17/16 Rutgers (Feb. 12) where Barnes Arico broke St. John's all-time coaching wins record with 169.
• The Red Storm has been a road warrior in the conference this season, winning its last five consecutive BIG EAST games away from Queens. The only time St. John's lost on the road in league play this season was on Dec. 7, 2011 at then-No. 20/21 DePaul.
• St. John's is 4-3 against top 25 foes overall and 2-1 against ranked teams on the road. With the win over then-No. 17/16 Rutgers on Feb. 12, St. John's earned its first upset over a top 25 opponent since Jan. 23, 2007 when the Red Storm defeated then-No. 23/RV Pittsburgh, 79-69.
• West Virginia (19-7, 9-4) is coming into Tuesday's match up with an impressive resume of its own. The Mountaineers also knocked off a No. 2, upsetting BIG EAST preseason favorite Notre Dame, 65-63 in Indiana on Feb. 12. West Virginia's victory at Notre Dame knocked the Irish down to No. 3 last week. St. John's win at UConn knocked the Huskies to No. 4 in the AP poll (Feb. 20). West Virginia lost to then-No. 24/20 DePaul in its last outing on Feb. 18, 77-63. The loss was at West Virginia.
• Tuesday's game is the 24th meeting all-time between these two BIG EAST foes. St. John's won the last meeting between the two teams, 59-51 in the second round of the BIG EAST Conference Tournament. The win was the first in a three-game history of BIG EAST Tournament play.
• As of Monday's reporting schedule, St. John's moved up from 29 to 17 on the's Ratings Percentage Index (RPI) and boasts a strength of schedule of nine.
• Since returning a fully healthy roster on Dec. 31, the Red Storm has won 10 of its last 12 games. St. John's is 13-3 with senior forward Da'Shena Stevens back from her early-season injury. She returned Dec. 17.
• With Stevens back in the lineup, St. John's averages 61.9 ppg and held opponents to 52.5 ppg. Without Stevens, the Red Storm averaged 61.5 ppg and let opponents score an average of 58.4 ppg.
• On Monday, St. John's made its first appearance in the Associated Press Poll since Jan. 3, 2011. St. John's was voted No. 20 by the national media.
Nadirah McKenith became St. John's first BIG EAST Player of the Week since Monique McLean(Jan. 5, 2009) following her all-around performance at Connecticut.

Red Storm vs. Mountaineers
• The series between St. John's and West Virginia dates back to Jan. 21, 1996. The squads have met 23 times over the past 15 years.
• West Virginia leads the all-time series 18-5 and the BIG EAST regular season series, 15-4.
• WVU won the first five meetings between the squads from 1996 through 1998.
• St. John's marked its first win over West Virginia on Jan. 17, 1999 at Carnesecca Arena.
• St. John's won two-straight meetings from 1999-2000 winning both at Carnesecca
• Arena and at Morgantown High School.
• During Kim Barnes Arico's tenure, St. John's won its first game against West Virginia on Jan. 29, 2006 in a marquee game at the World's Most Famous Arena, Madison Square Garden.
• Despite losing to the Mountaineers in last year's regular season-finale, the Red Storm earned redemption with a 59-51 victory in the second round of the BIG EAST Tournament. It was St. John's first-ever BIG EAST Tournament victory over West Virginia.

Coaching Match Up
• Newly-minted the all-time winningest coach in St. John's women's basketball history, Kim Barnes Arico is in her 10th season with the Red Storm with an 170-132 (.563). She broke the coaching wins record with a 61-52 upset victory at then-No. 17/16 Rutgers on Feb. 12. Earlier in the week, Barnes Arico coached her 300th game as St. John's head coach, marking the milestone with a victory over USF. She is 264-204 (.564) overall as a head coach.
• West Virginia's head coach Mike Carey boasts a winning record of 222-124 (.642) in his 11th season with the Mountaineers. Carey is 510-226 (.693) overall as a head coach.

When Last They Met
• West Virginia and St. John's last met on March 5, 2011 in the second round of the BIG EAST Tournament. St. John's Da'Shena Stevens led the Red Storm to a 59-51 win with 14 points. Shenneika Smith added 13, while Centhya "Coco" Hart had 11.
• The game was a redemption game for the 2011 regular season finale, which the two squads played five days earlier in West Virginia. The Mountaineers got the win in that one, 69-49.

Last Time At Carnesecca
• West Virginia last visited Carnesecca Arena on Jan. 2, 2010. The Mountaineers, ranked No. 19, defeated St. John's 54-50. Sky Lindsay scored 15 points and Shenneika Smith added 11.
• It was BIG EAST opener for both teams.
• St. John's led 28-25 at halftime, but WVU used an 11-4 run to recapture the lead, 36-32.

Scouting West Virginia
• Along with St. John's, West Virginia has become a threat to ranked teams, defeating three-straight top 25 opponents in its five-game win streak. Including then-No. 2 Notre Dame, West Virginia defeated then-No. 14/12 Louisville, 66-50 (Feb. 4) and then-No. 21-18 Rutgers, 60-50 (Feb. 15).
• The Mountaineers are skirting the top 25 polls, receiving votes in both.
• Junior Asya Bussie leads the Mountaineers as their only returning starter. Bussie averages 12.2 points per game and 7.0 boards per game.
• The last time West Virginia played the No. 20 team, the Mountaineers lost 54-64 (Jan. 24 to Georgetown).

Postgame Notes: Connecticut
STJ 57, UConn 56
• St. John's ended many of UConn's long-standing streaks with its 57-56 victory over then-No. 2 Connecticut.
• Streaks ended by St. John's on Saturday:
o UConn's 99-game home winning streak dating back to a 55-47 loss to Rutgers on March 6, 2007
o UConn's 61-game winning streak at Gampel Pavilion, dating back to a 60-56 loss to Rutgers on Feb. 7, 2006
o UConn's 261-game winning streak against unranked teams (regardless of location), dating back to a 61-50 loss at Arizona State on Dec. 21, 2004
o 18-game winning streak on senior day, dating back to a 64-62 loss to Georgetown on Feb. 27, 1993
o 32-game winning streak in the month of February, dating back to a 73-71 loss at Rutgers on Feb. 5, 2008
o UConn's 27-game winning streak against St. John's dating back to Jan. 6, 1993
o UConn's 166-game winning streak in games televised by CPTV, dating back to a 67-51 set back against Michigan State on Dec. 29, 2004.
• St. John's is just the fifth team since 1993 to win in Storrs, joining Rutgers, Tennessee, Georgia and Notre Dame.
Shenneika Smith won the game for St. John's with a 3-pointer on the wing with eight seconds remaining. She had only hit three 3's all season before the shot.
• St. John's was trailing by two with 16 seconds left as Nadirah McKenith drove the lane and kicked it out to Smith.
• McKenith and senior Da'Shena Stevens led the Red Storm with 15 points each.
• St. John's led 34-32 at the half, it was the first time UConn was trailing at the break.

• St. John's has been streaking as of late, winning seven of its last eight games and 11 of its last 13. The Red Storm's only losses were to Marquette (Jan. 15) and to then-No. 2 Notre Dame (Jan. 28). In the run, the Red Storm has defeated three different ranked opponents, including two wins over Rutgers.
• The Red Storm has four players averaging double figures, led by Shenneika Smith with 12.7 ppg. Smith is aided by Eugeneia McPherson who has 12.6 ppg, Nadirah McKenith with 11.7 and Da'Shena Stevens with 10.7 ppg.
• Smith has scored in double figures in the past 15-straight games.
• Stevens has found her grove and has hit the double figure mark in the past seven contests, including the game-high at UConn.

McKenith Big EAST Player Of The Week
• Junior point guard Nadirah McKenith was named the BIG EAST Player of the Week on Feb. 20, after leading the Red Storm with 15 points, while adding seven rebounds, seven assists, four steals and a block.
• She set up Shenneika Smith's game-winning 3-pointer with eight seconds left on the clock.
• McKenith is St. John's first BIG EAST Player of the Week since Monique McLean received the honor on Jan. 5, 2009.
• As of Monday's Division I statistical rankings, McKenith is No. 34 assists per game (5.0), 67th in assist-turnover ratio (1.57) and 71st in steals per game (2.5).

In The Polls
• St. John's made its first appearance in the Associated Press's top 25 poll on Monday as No. 20 after defeating then-No. 2 Connecticut in Storrs, Conn.
• St. John's was a preseason pick in the AP's top 25 as No. 25 but hasn't been ranked during the regular season since Jan. 3, 2011 when the Red Storm was No. 18.
• The Red Storm began receiving votes four weeks ago after St. John's upset then-No. 7/8 Rutgers at Carnesecca Arena (Jan. 17) and continued receiving votes after defeating Rutgers again on its home court, 61-52 (Feb. 12). By upsetting then-No. 2 UConn in Storrs, Conn. St. John's became the first unranked team to do so since 1993, ending the Huskies 99-game home winning streak at Gampel Pavilion, St. Johns surged in the top 25.

Up Next
St. John's will host Villanova on Saturday, Feb. 25 in the Carnesecca Arena finale. The Red Storm and Wildcats will tip off at 3 p.m. St. John's will honor its senior class of Da'Shena Stevens, Tesia Harris and manager Kimani Brown in a special pregame presentation.




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