St. John's Hosts St. Francis Brooklyn in 2017-18 Season Opener|
Nov. 9, 2017
QUEENS, N.Y. - Coming off a fourth-straight 20-win season and a 10th-consecutive postseason appearance, the St. John’s women’s basketball team opens the 2017-18 regular season on Friday when the Johnnies host St. Francis Brooklyn at 4:30 p.m. inside Carnesecca Arena.
Friday’s contest, which will be the first end of a single-admission doubleheader with the St. John’s men’s team hosting New Orleans at 7 p.m., will be carried live on ESPN3 with Nkwa Asonye and former St. John’s player Sky Lindsay on the call.
After graduating two of the top three scorers from last season’s team, the Red Storm will be relying on a mix of young and experienced players this year. Junior Akina Wellere is the top returning scorer after averaging 11.3 points per game last season. Wellere was named to the Preseason All-BIG EAST Team and the watch list for the inaugural Ann Meyers Drysdale Award, which recognizes the nation’s top shooting guard, after leading the league in three point field goal percentage as a sophomore.
Friday will mark the first time since the Sweet 16 season of 2011-12 that the Red Storm opens the campaign on its home court. In five season openers under Head Coach Joe Tartamella, the Johnnies are 3-2 after defeating William & Mary on opening day last season. Additionally, St. John’s has seen success at home with Tartamella at the helm. Since the sixth-year head coach took over prior to the 2012-13 season, the Red Storm owns a .747 winning percentage in Queens (59-20).
St. Francis Brooklyn finished the 2016-17 season at 8-22 overall and 6-12 in NEC games. The Terriers were picked to finish sixth in the NEC Preseason Poll after placing seventh and making a run to the NEC quarterfinals last season.
As a whole, St. Francis returns nine players from last season’s team including Alex Delaney, who scored 10.4 points and grabbed 5.3 rebounds per game while coming away with a team-best 41 steals last season. Additionally, junior guard Maria Palarino is back for her third season of collegiate basketball after averaging 10.3 points and a team-high 6.3 rebounds per game a year ago.
In August, St. Francis went 3-1 in four games in Canada including a win over defending National Champions McGill University.
Friday’s contest between St. John’s and St. Francis Brooklyn will be the ninth meeting all-time between the two schools. These two programs last met on Nov. 16, 2013 with the Red Storm claiming a 66-56 win at home. The series between the Terriers and Johnnies dates back to 1975 with the Red Storm owning an 8-0 record all-time.
Following Friday’s season opener, St. John’s is back in action next Friday, Nov. 17, when the Johnnies welcome William & Mary to Carnesecca Arena. The Red Storm and Tribe are scheduled for a 7 p.m. first tip on ESPN3.