As the men's team struggled over the past week, the story for the women's team was quite the opposite. The Red Storm first defeated #23 Seton Hall 59-50 at home on Friday night before they played a relatively close game against the immortal power of 2nd-ranked Connecticut Huskies at the Garden on Sunday, losing 70-54 in the Maggie Dixon Classic.
On Friday night against the Pirates, it was defense that led the way for the Johnnies. They held Seton Hall to just 50 points in the entire game, along with holding them without a field goal for the final 9:30 of action.
As usual, Danaejah Grant and Aliyyah Handford led the way with 17 and 14 points, respectively. But the emerging story on Friday night for St. John's was Amber Thompson. The dominant senior forward pulled down 20 rebounds and scored 12 points while playing the full 40 minutes of action, and she was a force on the defensive end as well with a team-high two blocks.
After picking up their first win at home over a ranked team since January 2012, the Red Storm traveled to Madison Square Garden to play UConn in the Maggie Dixon Classic. And while they were unable to pick up the stunning victory, they still inspired a ton of confidence with their play on Sunday.
Only down 38-31 at the half, St. John's was hit with an 8-0 run to begin the second half, and they wouldn't be able to cut the Huskies lead to within single-digits for the rest of the game. Nonetheless, St. John's was still able to hold the Huskies to just 70 points, their lowest point total of the season to date. Leading the way for the Red Storm was Handford with 20 points.
The Week Ahead
Despite the impressive week, the Red Storm were still unable to re-enter the latest edition of the top 25, as they finished 27th in both the AP and Coaches Polls released Monday. This week sees them taking on Butler at home on Friday night before they'll travel to Omaha to face Creighton on Sunday.
Handford named to Big East Weekly Honor Roll
Aliyyah Handford led the way for St. John's this week in both of their games against ranked opponents, averaging over 18 points and just under six rebounds per game, and for those performances she was named to the Big East Weekly Honor Roll on Monday. The talented junior currently leads the team with just over 19 points per game in her breakout season.