With their final three regular season games back at Carnesecca Arena, the St. John’s women’s basketball team will look to build up momentum going into the Big East Tournament.
First up, a pivotal matchup in terms of conference standings and potential seedings against cross-river rival Seton Hall. St. John’s sits a game ahead of Seton Hall in fifth place, so the Red Storm need to win this game to avoid losing the tiebreaker, as the Pirates won the first meeting of the season in January.
Who: Seton Hall Pirates (15-11, 7-8 Big East) vs. St. John’s Red Storm (15-11, 8-7 Big East)
Where: Carnesecca Arena, Queens, NY (capacity 5,602)
When: Friday, February 16, 7:00 PM ET
Last Meeting: Seton Hall edged St. John’s 62-57 in South Orange, NJ, on January 21st to break the Red Storm’s five-game winning streak.
Scouting Seton Hall
Creating turnovers is Seton Hall’s bread and butter; the Pirates lead the Big East with an average of 10.8 steals per game. The Pirates also ranked third in the conference in shot-blowing (3.8 per game).
St. John’s managed to win the turnover battle 22 to 16 in the team’s January meeting, but they managed to hit just 6/20 3-point attempts against Seton Hall’s perimeter defense (31.3 percent against behind the arc).
Inja Butina led the Pirates with 15 points on three 3-pointers and dished out five assists. JaQuan Jackson scored 14 points and eight rebounds.
One big issue for the Pirates has been the departure of leading scorer and rebounder Donnaizha Fountain, who left the program before the team’s win over St. John’s. The Pirates sit in dead last in the conference in rebounding, allowing opponents to grab 43% of their own misses.
Shadeen Samuels (7.7 PPG, 6.3 RPG) and Taylor Brown (9.8 PPG, 5.1 RPG) are the remaining Pirates’ 6-footers who play a significant role in a sizable amount of minutes.
Keys to the game
Convert on mistakes: St. John’s scored just 12 points off 22 turnovers against Seton Hall in their prior meeting. The Red Storm have exceeded that total just twice in the six games since their meeting with the Pirates, including just two in a loss to Villanova.
Continue to double down: Maya Singleton, the conference’s leader in double-doubles, has bounced back from a recent cold stretch with a pair of double-doubles in St. John’s last two games. The senior scored a career high 19 points on 8/9 shooting and recorded 11 rebounds in the Red Storm’s win over Georgetown on Sunday. Singleton thus earned a Met Basketball Writers Association Honorable Mention for the second time this season.
Underclassman surge: The Red Storm has been getting improved play from its younger players. Sophomore Alisha Kebbe is averaging 15.5 PPG in her last two contests. Tiana England had 10 assists in her last game, while Qadashah Hoppie continues to score (11 PPG).
St. John’s has been playing well for the most part on offense, and combine that with the team’s efficiency on defense I think the Red Storm win this one in a fairly close one, 64-58.