After a week off from competition, the Red Storm will conclude a three-game road swing on Sunday, when Joe Tartamella’s team travels to Seton Hall for a showdown with the BIG EAST-leading Pirates at 2 p.m.
RED STORM QUICK HITS
- The Red Storm has had its most successful stretch of the season in terms of shooting percentage over the last five games, a span that has seen St. John’s claim victories in three of those contests. Dating back to the Red Storm’s win over Creighton on January 11, the Red Storm is shooting 51.8 percent from the floor, nearly eight points above its season average, and 37.9 percent from three, over 12 points higher than its season average. Individually, Aliyyah Handford has led the Red Storm with 22.6 points per game over the last five.
- One member of the Red Storm that has greatly increased her efficiency as of late is point guard Aaliyah Lewis. Heading into her team’s game against Creighton on Jan. 11, Lewis was shooting 27.8 percent from the floor and 20.6 percent from beyond the arc. Over her last five games, the Staten Island, N.Y., native has converted on 43 percent of her tries from the field and four out of her seven attempts from three-point land. During that stretch, Lewis has also turned in an assist-to-turnover ratio of 2.9.
- With 19 points in last Sunday’s loss to Villanova, Aliyyah Handford fell just one point shy of continuing one of the nation’s most impressive streaks. In the six games prior to the Villanova loss, Handford had scored at least 20 points in each contest, averaging 23.5 points, 6.5 rebounds, 2.8 assists and 2.0 steals per game. The Newark, N.J., native, who was a selection to the Naismith Women’s Top 50 watch list, shot 51.8 percent from the floor during that six-game swing.
- Alongside Handford at the top of the scoresheet has been teammate and backcourt partner Danaejah Grant, who ranks second on the team and fourth in the conference at 17.9 points per game. At 38.3 points per contest this season, Handford and Grant are the fourth-highest scoring pair of teammates in the nation.
SCOUTING SETON HALL
- The biggest surprise of the BIG EAST 2014-15 season, the Seton Hall Pirates, who were predicted to finish fifth in the conference before the year started, currently lead the league with a record of 19-2, including an 8-1 mark in BIG EAST play.
- Currently sitting with a ranking of 25 in the USA Today Sports Coaches Poll, the Pirates have earned their first national ranking since 1995 this season. Seton Hall, who is currently receiving votes in the Associated Press Poll, occupied the no. 23 spot in that ranking when the Red Storm handed the Pirates their lone loss of the conference season on Jan. 2.
- The Pirates feature three players that average at least 17 points per game, paced by junior forward Tabatha Richardson-Smith at 18.1 points per contest. Graduate student Ka-Deidre Simmons, who leads the BIG EAST in assists at 5.4 per outing, ranks second on the team at 17.2 points per game, while fellow graduate student Daisha Simmons adds 17.1 points per contest.
- Seton Hall has won 18 of its last 19 following a loss to No. 17 West Virginia on Nov. 17, 2014.
ST. JOHN’S VS. SETON HALL – THE SERIES
- Charter members of the BIG EAST with a rivalry dating back to before the birth of the conference, St. John’s and Seton Hall are the most frequently played opponents in the history of each other’s programs.
- The Red Storm holds a 42-26 advantage all-time against their closest geographical BIG EAST opponent, highlighted by a 22-10 record inside the friendly confines of Carnesecca Arena. In games played at Walsh Gymnasium, the series is dead even at 15 wins apiece.
- St. John’s has won each of the last five and 14 of the last 15 contests played between the two schools dating back to the 2006-07 season.
For more information on the St John’s Women’s Basketball team fans are encouraged to click on the link seen here: