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Women's basketball falls to Dutch National Team in first Euro matchup

The St. John's women's basketball team fell 70-34 to the Dutch National Team on Monday in the first of four international games during the Red Storm's 11-day European tour.

Mike DiNovo-USA TODAY Sports

The St. John's women's basketball team finally got on the court on Monday.

After a day of sightseeing and exploring in Rome on Sunday and a morning of tours throughout the "Eternal City", the Red Storm suited up for the program's first-ever game on European soil.

But while the matchup was historic in one sense, it wasn't exactly statistically-memorable as St. John's fell 70-34 to the Dutch National Team at the Arena Altero Felici.

The game was played under FIBA rules, which requires four, 10-minute quarters, as well as a 24-second shot clock, and while the Storm had practiced for those conditions in their NCAA-allotted, 10 pre-tour practices, actually playing out the rules was a little different.

"I think we have a lot to work on, but it was nice playing against different people," senior forward Amber Thompson said. "The Dutch National Team was very good. They had some good shooters, but it was a nice experience. It helps us learn."

Thompson led St. John's in scoring with eight points, including a perfect 4-for-4 from the free throw line in the third quarter alone. The Dutch were led by Loyce Bettonvil who finished with 19 points, going 5-for-6 from behind the arc in the second.

The Storm scored just 14 points in the first half, but clawed back to within nine with just under six minutes left in the third. But in those final six minutes, the Dutch offense exploded and, after three full quarters, led St. John's 45-28.

As expected, and promised from head coach Joe Tartamella, the Storm's freshman class saw solid minutes late in the game with Madrid native Crystal Simmons notching her first points in the fourth quarter.

The Red Storm return to the court on Wednesday against the Adriatic Sea Sirens.