Women's Basketball Opens 2010-11 Season At 16th Annual Wildcat Classic

Nov. 11, 2010

MANATTAN, Kansas - No. 14/16 St. John’s women’s basketball officially starts its season on Friday as the Red Storm travels to Manhattan, Kansas for the Commerce Bank/Wildcat Classic, hosted by Kansas State.

STJ plays (-/RV)Marist on the first day of the tournament at 3:30 p.m. (ET). Kansas State and Grambling State will kick off the Classic at 1 p.m. The Consolation game will be played on Saturday, Nov. 13 at 1 p.m., with the Championship game to follow at 3:30 p.m. A four-member All-Tournament Team will be selected as well as a Tournament MVP following the Championship game.

The Commerce Bank/Wildcat Classic is celebrating its 16th year of existence; this is St. John’s first appearance in the tournament.

Weekend Notes
• St. John’s (0-0) will face two new opponents in Kansas State (0-0) from the Big 12 and Grambling State (0-0) from the SWAC. St. John’s has played Marist (0-0) just twice since 1974, with a series tied at 1-1.

Red Storm vs. Red Foxes – A Shared History
• St. John’s and Marist have not played eachother since the 2002-03 season, in a matchup that marked the first-ever game for Red Storm head coach Kim Barnes Arico and Red Fox head coach Brian Giorgis. Barnes Arico’s St. John’s team defeated Marist, 68-50 on Nov. 24, 2002, as she tallied her first-ever win as a Division I head coach. STJ led 29-28 at the half. Since their last meeting, Barnes Arico has compiled a 130-113 career record as St. John’s head coach.

• Marist won the first-ever meeting between the two schools, 75-49 on Nov. 17, 2001.

STJ In Season Openers
• Ninth-year head Coach Kim Barnes Arico is 6-2 in season-openers since coming to St. John’s in 2002. Overall, St. John’s is 25-11 since 1974-75. Barnes Arico’s only losses came to Buffalo (L, 63-56) on Nov. 22, 2002 and Iona (L, 66-56) on Nov. 9, 2006. Under Barnes Arico, the Red Storm boasts a perfect record on the road or in season-opening tournaments.



• St. John’s played Marist in the 2001 season-opener in Poughkeepsie, N.Y. The Red Foxes defeated the Red Storm, 75-49, on Nov. 17 under then-head coach Darcel Estep.

Scouting The Red Foxes
• Marist finished 2009-10 with a 26-8 overall record and a trip to the NCAA Tournament. The Red Foxes lost in the First Round of the Memphis Regional (Berkeley, Calif.) to St. John’s fellow BIG EAST opponent, Georgetown, 62-42 (March 20, 2010).

• Marist won the MAAC Title and finished with a 15-3 record in conference

• The Red Foxes will start 2010-11 short two of their key players from last season, Rachele Fitz and Lynzee Johnson, both of whom graduated in 2010. Fitz finished her four-year career as Marist’s all-time leading scorer (2,447 points) and rebounder (1,066). Fitz was a three-time MAAC Player of the Year and 14-time MAAC Player of the Week. Johnson added 21.5 minutes per game and 5.5 ppg to Marists’ 2009-10 roster. As a sophomore she was heralded as the 2007-08 MAAC Sixth Player of the Year and shot 35.7 percent as a senior.

• The Red Foxes do return senior guard Erica Allenspach, who was a two-time All-Tournament Team selection. Allenspach earned both preseason and postseason First Team All-Conference honors thus far. Allenspach will be helped up front by junior guard Corielle Yarde. Yarde was a 2009-10 Second Team All-MAAC and MAAC All-Tournament selection. Yarde was the Red Foxes second-highest scorer last year, with an average of 13.7 ppg behind Fitz who recorded 17.7 ppg. Allenspach was the third-leading scorer with 12.9 ppg.

• Marist was picked as the unanimous MAAC Preseason No. 1 for the fourth-consecutive season. Marist is 8-21 in season-openers, riding a 2-0 streak.

Scouting The Wildcats
• Coached by Deb Patterson, starting her 15th year, the Kansas State Wildcats are coming off a 14-18 record from last season. The Wildcats missed the NCAA Tournament after making two-straight appearances from 2007-09 and missed playing in any postseason tournament since the 2001-02 season, breaking a eight-year streak. KState was the 2007-08 Big 12 Champions and made it to the NCAA Second Round in both 2007-08 and 2008-09.

• As the host school for the Wildcat Classic, Kansas State holds a 27-3 (.900) record in the tournament and have won 12 of the 15 titles. The Wildcats currently own an eight-game winning streak in the event and have reached the title game in every edition of the classic.

• Kansas State was picked to finish ninth in the Big 12 Preseason Coaches’ Poll.

• The Wildcats’ leading scorer coming into 2010-11 is sophomore guard Brittany Chambers. Chambers scored 12.1 ppg, recorded 5.8 rpg and 2.5 apg as a rookie with the Wildcats. Assisting Chambers will be classmate and guard Taelor Karr (9.1 ppg, 4.5rpg) and junior forward Jalana Childs (7.3 ppg, 4.4 rpg).

• Kansas State will play Grambling State in the first game of the Wildcat Classic.

Scouting The Lady Tigers
• The Grambling State Lady Tigers are coming off a 13-15 season which saw them finish fourth in the SWAC with a 10-8 league record. Grambling returns 11 letterwinners and all five starters from its 2009-10 roster. The Lady Tigers return leading scorer and rebounder, forward Secrett Anderson (10.7 ppg, 7.0 rpg), 3-point expert guard Kristen Harper (6.9 ppg; 2.1 3-pointers/game) and forward Jasher Blocker (6.9 ppg).

• Head coach Donnita Rogers is in her second season with the Lady Tigers, 12th season overall. Rogers boasts a 252-186 overall record as a head coach.

STJ Against This Weekend’s Conferences
• Rookie Morgan Ritter and junior Jen Leaverton were awarded the assists on Cummings goal. The goal opportunity cam e off a corner kick, taken by Ritter then headed to Leaverton, who headed it with Cummings. It was Leaverton and Ritter’s first assist of the season. Leaverton has three assists for her career.

Play The Best To Be The Best
• St. John’s has the potential to play 17 postseason teams from 2009-10, including nine teams that made the NCAA Tournament. 11 of those teams are competitors from the BIG EAST. Marist is the first NCAA Tournament Team STJ will face.

Red Storm Returns To the Court…
• ... Four starters from 2009-10. Forward Da’Shena Stevens returns with additional preseason accolades after being named a 2009-10 WBCA Region I All-American, AP Honorable Mention All-American, MBWA Player of Year, All-BIG EAST first team and a Naismith Award Midseason Watch List selection. Stevens accounted for 14.3 ppg, 7.6 rpg and a 47.5 shooting percentage.

• With Stevens are sophomores Shenneika Smith and Nadirah McKenith both rounding out the guard positions. Smith has also garnered preseason attention this year so far after being named a Full Court Press Second Team Freshman All-American, an a unanimous all-BIG EAST Freshman Team selection. Smith avreaged 12.9 ppg, 5.3 rpg and a 40.3 field goal percentage. McKenith will take the reigns as the floor general once again after also being named to the 2009-10 All-BIG EAST Freshman Team. McKenith was on the national watch list as a finalist for the Nancy Lieberman Award. McKenith finished with 7.7 ppg, 4.7 rpg, 5.0 apg and 2.2 spg.

• Senior Sky Lindsay, who has started all 99 games she has played in her career also returns to give the Red Storm a triple-threat at the guard position. Classmate Centhya “Coco” Hart will also return. Hart 7.3 ppg and 23.8 mpg in 2009-10.

• Both Stevens and Smith were named to the Preseason Naismith Trophy Watch List and Preseason All-BIG EAST Team.

Newcomers Preview
• St. John’s will have three new faces taking to the court in 2010-11 with Briana Brown, Keyantra Langley and Zakiyyah Shahid-Martin.

• Brown was a McDonalds High School All-American nominee, an All-New England Team member and four-year varsity captain in high school. She amassed 2,203 points during her high school career and averaged 22.7 points, 13.1 rebounds and 4.2 steals per game.

• Langley was rated the 37th-best prospect in the country and the 13th best at her position on ESPN.com. A guard from Bridgeport, Conn. She was named to the Connecticut All-State team both her junior and senior year, and was a 2010 McDonald’s All-American nominee. Langley averaged 15.6 points, 7.3 rebounds, and 5.0 assists while in high school and will be called upon to relieve Nadirah McKenith at the point.

• At 6-2, Shahid-Martin will bring an additional presence to the post positions for the Red Storm and helping the team reach the Final Four this season is one of Martin’s expectations. In high school, Martin led her team to a No. 2 state ranking during her senior year. She averaged 5.0 points and 4 rebounds at Dupont Manual High School in Kentucky.

Coming To You Live!
• The 2010-11 St. John’s women’s basketball squad will be featured in six nationally televised games this season, the most national television coverage the program has ever had. STJ will appear three times on the ESPN networks, including two games on ESPN2, twice on the CBS College Sports Network and once on the BIG EAST Television Network.

• The BIG EAST Conference as a whole will have 14 ESPN/ESPN2 games this season. The league’s overall exposure includes one game on CBS, the 14 ESPN National broadcasts, 27 games on ESPNU and 25 on CBS College Sports Network.

• Red Storm home games that are not broadcasted on a national or regional television will be shown live on the St. John’s StormTracker All-Access platform, which is pay per view or can be bought with a season package.

A Look back at 2009-10, a record season
• St. John’s made their fifth NCAA Tournament appearance in program history in 2009-10, advancing to the Second Round and finishing with a 25-7 overall record, set the record with a 12-4 conference slate and a No. 15 final AP ranking. The Red Storm went 13-1 in home contests and three underclassmen garnered national attention with multiple accolades. Then-sophomore Da’Shena Stevens earned two All-America accolades and was the All-Met Player of the Year, then-rookie Shenneika Smith was tabbed as a Freshman Second Team All-American and classmate Nadirah McKenith was tabbed as one of the top eight point guards in the country as a finalist for the Nancy Lieberman Award.

Up Next
• After closing out the Commerce Bank/Wildcat Classic with either Kansas State or Grambling State, St. John’s will return to the friendly confines of Carnesecca Arena for a two-game home week against local rivals from Riverdale and Manhattan. The Red Storm will host Manhattan on Tuesday, Nov. 16 at 7 p.m. in the home-opener. St. John’s will close out the week on Friday, Nov. 19 with a game against Columbia.

• St. John’s is 11-0 all-time over Manhattan and 1-0 vs. Columbia.

• In 2009-10, St. John’s was 13-1 at home and is currently riding a seven-game win-streak as the home team. The Red Storm’s last loss was to then-No. 19 West Virginia on Jan. 2, 2010 (54-50).


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