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Red Storm WBB Readies for Villanova on Sunday

Amber Thompson. Photo by: Stacy Podelski/1495 Sports

Amber Thompson. Photo by: Stacy Podelski/1495 Sports

After downing Georgetown in the first contest of a three-game road swing on Friday night, the St. John’s Red Storm heads to Villanova on Sunday for a noon tip with the Wildcats.



  • A BIG EAST Weekly Honor Roll selection for the third-straight week and the sixth time overall this season, Aliyyah Handford has been playing some of the best basketball of her career recently.  Following back-to-back 25-point performances against DePaul and Marquette last weekend and a 22-point outburst on Friday against Georgetown, Handford made it six-straight contests with 20 points or more and nine of her last 10 overall reaching that mark.  Nationally, the BIG EAST’s leading scorer ranks 22nd in that category.


  • One of the conference’s smallest players at just 5-5, Aaliyah Lewis more than makes up for her lack of size with unmatched speed and an unquantifiable toughness.  In her first full season as the team’s starting point guard, Lewis is averaging 4.6 assists per contest, the fifth-highest total in the BIG EAST.  Over the past several weeks, Lewis has also elevated her assist-to-turnover ratio to 2.1, giving her the fourth-best total in the conference in that category.


  • Last Sunday afternoon against Marquette, Danaejah Grant put up one of the best all-around performances of her career, tallying 15 points, 11 rebounds and six assists against the Golden Eagles.  The Piscataway, N.J., native’s 11 boards tied a career-high that was set earlier this season against Providence.  Grant’s six helpers surpassed a previous career-best of five set against Tennessee last season during the NCAA Tournament.  Grant followed that up on Friday with a 16-point, six-rebound effort at Georgetown.


  • The St. John’s career leader in rebounding, Amber Thompson continues to be one of the superior glass cleaners in the country, ranking in eighth in the NCAA at 11.5 boards per outing.  On Friday night against the Hoyas, Thompson registered her best offensive performance of the campaign, scoring a season-high 13 points on six-of-seven shooting from the floor.  The Newark, N.J., native also added six rebounds, five blocks and three steals in the victory.


  • Sporting an 11-9 overall record and a 5-3 mark in BIG EAST play, the Villanova Wildcats enter Sunday’s contest following a 59-56 loss to league-leading Seton Hall on Friday night at home.


  • The Wildcats lead the NCAA in two statistical categories, surrendering the fewest turnovers per game (8.9) and turning in an assist-to-turnover ratio of 1.66.


  • Two Wildcats average double figure scoring numbers, led by Emily Leer at 12.8 points per game.  Teammate Caroline Coyer ranks second on the squad with 11.5 points per outing.


  • The Red Storm and the Wildcats have met on 55 occasions over the history of the two programs, with Villanova currently holding a 31-24 edge in the series history.


  • The Red Storm has won its last six contests against the Wildcats, with Villanova’s last win coming on Feb. 4, 2009.


  • While the Red Storm holds a 14-10 advantage over Villanova in games played at Carnesecca Arena, the Wildcats have won 18 of the 26 contests hosted on their home court.


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