March 4, 2018
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CHICAGO - The St. John's women's basketball team saw its BIG EAST Tournament come to an end on Sunday, falling to fourth-seeded Creighton, 66-58, in the quarterfinal round at Wintrust Arena.
The Johnnies surrendered only three turnovers in the loss, a season low for the Red Storm (16-14).
Maya Singleton paced the offensive attack for St. John's with a team-high 18 points. The senior forward was just one rebound shy of recording her 17th double-double of the season, finishing with nine rebounds.
Tiana England closed out her first BIG EAST Tournament with a strong effort, tallying 16 points for the Johnnies to go along with two steals.
Akina Wellere also played well in her hometown, as The Windy City native registered 11 points for the Johnnies on a 3-for-4 shooting effort from the field. In addition, the junior guard grabbed four rebounds and dished out a pair of assists.
The Johnnies took off with an early lead, scoring the game's first six points on a three-point play from Wellere and a triple from England. Defensively, St. John's held Creighton scoreless for the opening three minutes of action.
Singleton and Alisha Kebbe added to the St. John's lead before Creighton (18-11) embarked on a 9-0 run of its own, taking a 12-10 advantage with 1:43 to go in the opening stanza. BIG EAST Freshman of the Year Qadashah Hoppie put the streak to bed with a drive to the glass, but Creighton's 12-2 effort over the final 5:07 gave the Bluejays a 15-12 edge at the end of the first frame.
The teams traded blows throughout much of the second quarter, as the Bluejays' advantage moved between three and seven points over the opening six and a half minutes. After a Wellere layup brought the Red Storm within three, 25-22, with 3:30 to play, Creighton rattled off a 7-0 run to take their largest lead of the half, 32-22, with less than a minute to go.
An England layup in the closing seconds ended the Bluejays' spurt and sent St. John's into the locker room trailing by eight, 32-24.
At intermission, Singleton led the Johnnies with eight of the team's 24 points and five rebounds. England put up a valiant effort for the Red Storm in the opening 20 minutes, tallying seven points.
On the other side of the break, the Johnnies took the lead for the first time since the opening frame after embarking on an early 9-0 run. Hoppie kick started the run with a drive to the glass before jumpers from Kebbe and Singleton brought the Johnnies within a pair. After a free throw from Wellere to cut the deficit to one, England put the Red Storm on top, 33-32, with a layup at the 5:46 mark of the quarter. St. John's held Creighton scoreless for nearly five minutes to start the latter half.
The two teams traded buckets and leads over the next few minutes, as Creighton closed out the third quarter with a three-point advantage, 45-42.
Both squads went scoreless over the first two minutes of the final quarter until a pair of free throws from Creighton extended their lead to five, 47-42.
Trailing by seven at the midway mark of the final quarter, St. John's scored five unanswered to make it a two-point game, 52-50, with 4:17 to go on an old-fashioned three-point play from England.
With their lead down to a pair, the Bluejays unleashed a decisive 8-0 run, bumping their advantage back to double digits with under a minute and a half to go.