For the eighth-consecutive year and the 10th time in the last 11 seasons, the St. John’s Red Storm will be playing postseason basketball. After finishing the regular season with at least 20 wins for the second-straight year, the Red Storm has earned a bid to the WNIT, kicking off postseason play against Army at 7 p.m. on Thursday in Carnesecca Arena. The game will be broadcast on ESPN3, with Ralph Bednarczyk and Scott Greene on the call.
RED STORM QUICK HITS
- The 2014-15 season marks the Red Storm’s fourth-ever trip to the WNIT, with the program’s last appearance coming in 2009. That season, St. John’s advanced to the Round of 16, downing Harvard and Hartford before eventually falling to Boston College. The Red Storm also won two games in the WNIT in 2008 (Iona and Boston College) and picked up a victory in 2005 (Delaware) during the program’s first appearance in the tournament. The Red Storm is 5-3 all-time in WNIT contests.
- With 18 points against Seton Hall in the semifinals of the BIG EAST Tournament on March 9, Aliyyah Handford increased her season-long point total to 616, good enough for the third-best single-season scoring effort in school history. The Newark, N.J., native became the fourth player in program history to record 600 points in a season and is currently 10 points away from tying Cozette Ballentine (626 points in 1990-91) for second on the single-season scoring list. Handford is also just four rebounds shy of becoming only the second player in school history (along with Ballentine) to record 600 points and 200 boards in the same season. For her career, the junior guard now has 1,475 points, good enough for eighth on the school’s all-time list, and is just 27 points shy of tying Monique McClean (2005-09) for seventh place.
- In addition to Handford’s scoring prowess this season, St. John’s has also been aided by the abundant abilities of Danaejah Grant, who ranks second on the team and sixth in the BIG EAST at 16.8 points per game. With 521 points on the season, Grant combines with Handford to form the most prolific pair of scoring teammates in Red Storm history. Their combined output of 1,137 tops the previous school record of 1,115 achieved by Debbie Beckford and Kerry Karst during the 1981-82 Season.
- Entering the WNIT with a record of 23-7, Army finished second in the Patriot League regular season standings with a conference mark of 14-4
- The Black Knights are led by junior guard Kelsey Minato, who ranks eighth in the NCAA in points per game with 22.4. The junior from Huntington Beach, Calif., shoots 46 percent from the floor and 42 percent from beyond the arc, averaging 16 shot attempts and 6.5 three-point tries per game.
- No other member of the Black Knights averages double digits, but senior forward Olivia Schretzman adds 9.7 points to go along with a team-best 6.5 boards per game.
- Army ranks in the top 10 nationally in two categories: scoring defense (52.5- 7th) and turnovers per game (11.5- 6th)
ST JOHN’S VS. ARMY – THE SERIES
- Located just 60 miles apart from one another, Army and St. John’s sport a series history that dates back to 1977.
- In 12 all-time meetings, the Red Storm holds an 8-4 advantage over the Black Knights.
- The two squads did not play one another between 1983 and 2005, but went on to face each other in four consecutive seasons from 2005-06 to 2008-09. The Red Storm enjoyed a 3-1 advantage in those four games.
- In the last meeting between the two squads on Nov. 25, 2008, Kelly McManmon scored a game-high 15 points to lead the Red Storm in a 61-54 victory over the Black Knights at Carnesecca Arena.
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