The St. John's cheerleaders perform during Red Storm's WNIT contest against Fordham. (Photo courtesy of Ray Floriani)
Queens, NY - St. John’s broke a close game open in the final ten minutes. The Red Storm defeated Fordham 77-63 in a second round WNIT contest at Carnesecca Arena. Fordham finishes at 21-12, while 23-10 St. John’s is slated to travel to Villanova on Thursday. The pace and possessions:
Pace: 72 possessions
Offensive Efficiency: St. John's 107, Fordham 88
eFG%: St. John's 51, Fordham 44
FT Rate: St. John's 27, Fordham 22
OREB%: St. John's 28, Fordham 26
TO Rate: St. John's 14, Fordham 22
What Fordham did well: Compete well into the second half. A two-possession game at the break, Fordham trailed by six and on the defensive end, they allowed St. John’s to have just a two point (12-10) advantage on points in the paint. The Rams maintained striking distance right up until the final stretch of the contest.
What St. John's did well: Shoot the mid range jumper. Fordham was concerned about St. John’s ability to beat them off the bounce. The Rams changed defenses and conceded the 12-15 footer. St. John’s hit it. Only taking two threes (both misfired) the Rdd Storm shot 32 of 63 for a 51% showing from the floor.
Leading Scorers and OE:
St. John's: Aliyyah Handford, 23 points (OE .519)
“We renamed Handford, handful.” – Fordham coach Stephanie Gaitley
Fordham: Emily Tapio, 19 points (OE .600)
Tapio, a senior winding up an excellent career, shot 8-of-10 from the floor, turning in a very good OE, which would have been better except for four turnovers.
St. John’s outstanding defensive efficiency, courtesy of limiting Fordham in the eFg (44%) department while forcing them into a 22% TO rate. For the game, the Red Storm showed a 38-22 edge on points in the paint. That was largely aided by a 14-2 advantage in fast break points.
St. John’s, short on depth, put four players in double figures. Impressive in relief, Kyra Dunn of St. John’s gave a nice 2-point, 5-rebound, 2-block showing in 18 minutes.
It is how big you play. The guards were the leaders in rebounding. Fordham’s 5-7 Tiffany Ruffin led the Rams with seven boards. Aliyyah Handford (5-9) of St. John’s paced all rebounders with 10.
Amber Thompson had a versatile game for St. John’s. The 6-2 senior scored 12 points, hauling down eight boards, blocking two shots and getting four steals, decidedly a quiet but effective defensive force in this victory.
“We tried to mix things up defensively, but in the end, we struggled with the offense especially turnovers....looking back, as far as this program goes, the bar is raised.” – Fordham coach Stephanie Gaitley
“Another opportunity in postseason, and I think we might have played our most complete game to date. We did a great job on both ends of the floor today.” – St. John’s coach Joe Tartamella