The St. John’s Red Storm had three players in double figures, and ran away with their home opener, beating the Lafayette Leopards by a final score of 76-44.
St. John’s hits the road to take on the James Madison Dukes on Sunday at 2:00 PM in Harrisonburg, Virginia.
The Red Storm started out hot, opening the game with an 8-0 run led by Qadashah Hoppie leading the way with 6 of those 8 points. Lafayette responded with going into a 2-3 zone frustrating the St. John’s offense for a long stretch and forcing multiple contested midrange jumpers.
After Lafayette closed the gap to a one-possession game, the Red Storm began making the Leopard defense move, then attacked the gaps creating open looks. Once the Red Storm figured out Lafayette’s zone defense, the scoring took off. Qadashah Hoppie had a particularly effective half, finishing with 14 points (5/8 FG, 3/5 3PT) to go along with an assist and a pair of steals.
Defensively, the Johnnies were aggressive on the perimeter, running the Leopards off the three-point line with regularity. The aggressiveness often paid off, with the Leopards turning the ball over 14 times in the first half. However, when the ball get into the paint, Lafayette had success. The Red Storm defense allowed the Leopards to score 16 points in the paint and go 7 of 10 on layups prior to the half.
Behind Hoppie’s first half scoring effort, the Johnnies went into halftime up 39-25.
To start off the second half, Lafayette inverted the traditional 2-3 zone, and the Red Storm generally made quick work of it. Lafayette quickly switched back to the traditional 2-3 defense, but by the end of the third quarter, it was already too late with St. John’s up 58-36.
Defensively, the Red Storm allowed the Leopards to do very little. St John’s defense held Lafayette to a paltry 29% from the field in the second half. Key to the Johnnies finishing defensive possessions was Kadaja Bailey. Bailey led the Red Storm in rebounds with 9 in the game and 7 of those in the second half to go along with her 5 second half points.
In the fourth quarter, offense ceased for both teams with both teams going over three minutes early in the quarter without a made field goal. The Johnnies may have been gassed, as St. John’s bench played a total of 21 minutes among the four bench players over through the third quarter and halfway through the fourth.
The game ended with St. John’s converting four straight field goals and beating Lafayette 76-44.
St. John’s Red Storm
Qadashah Hoppie: 22 points (7/13 FG, 5/7 3PT), 3 rebounds, 3 assists, 1 turnover
Alisha Kebbe: 15 points (6/9 FG, 1/3 3PT), 4 rebounds, 1 assists, 2 turnovers
Tiana England: 10 points (4/9 FG, 0/1 3PT), 5 rebounds, 4 assists, 1 turnover
Alexis Santarelli: 14 points (7/15 FG), 5 rebounds, 2 turnovers
Sarah Agnello: 9 points (3/5 FG, 1/2 3PT), 3 rebounds, 1 assist, 5 turnovers