Following wins over Army and Fordham in the first two rounds of the WNIT, the Red Storm will face a familiar opponent in the Round of 16, traveling to The City of Brotherly Love for a tilt with BIG EAST foe Villanova at The Pavilion on Thursday. Tip-off is scheduled for 7 p.m. and the game will be broadcast live on the BIG EAST Digital Network, available on FOXSportsGO.com and the FOX Sports GO app on mobile and tablet.
RED STORM QUICK HITS
- This season marks the Red Storm’s third trip to the WNIT Round of 16 in just four tries, as St. John’s advanced this far in 2008 and 2009. A win against the Wildcats would punch the Red Storm’s ticket to the quarterfinals for the first time in program history. Following the team’s win over Fordham, the Red Storm is now 7-3 all-time in WNIT contests.
- When she takes the floor against the Wildcats, senior forward Amber Thompson will etch her name even more prominently in the St. John’s record book. Already the school’s career and single-season rebounding leader, Thompson will play in her 133rd career contest for the Red Storm, giving her sole possession of first place on the career games-played list. Previously, classmates CoCo Hart and Sky Lindsay (2007-11) were tied for first with 132 career games played.
- Following an outstanding performance against Fordham on Sunday with 23 points and 10 rebounds, Aliyyah Handford bumped her season-long point total to 647. That effort moved her into second place on the school’s all-time single-season scoring list, passing Cozette Ballentine (626 points in 1990-91). Handford also passed Ballentine for the highest single-season point total registered by a junior, giving the Newark native the St. John’s single-season scoring record for both the sophomore (567) and junior classes. Handford is still 58 points away from the top spot overall, as Debbie Beckford compiled 705 points during her senior campaign in 1982-83. In addition to her single-season accolades, Handford also moved into seventh place on the St. John’s career scoring chart, ending the game with 1,506 career points to pass Monique McClean (1,502; 2005-09). The junior guard is also just nine points shy of tying Da’Shena Stevens (1,515; 2008-12) for sixth and 30 points behind Kia Wright (1,536; 2004-08) in fifth. On Wednesday morning, it was announced that Handford was named WBCA All-Region for the second-straight season.
- Following a 12-6 finish in the conference, the Villanova Wildcats claimed third place in the final BIG EAST Regular Season standings, advancing to the semifinals of the BIG EAST Tournament before falling to the eventual champs, DePaul.
- The Wildcats are led by junior guard Caroline Coyer, who averages a team-best 13.4 points and 4.5 assists per game. She also possesses a BIG EAST best assist-to-turnover ratio of 2.6.
- Villlanova leads the nation in a pair of categories: fewest turnovers per game (8.5) and assist-to-turnover ratio (1.79).
- The Wildcats also lead the BIG EAST and rank sixth in the nation in three-point field goals per game, averaging 9.2 made triples per contest.
ST JOHN’S VS. VILLANOVA – THE SERIES
- BIG EAST foes with a series history dating back to 1981, St. John’s and Villanova have played on 57 occasions all-time with the Wildcats holding a 32-25 advantage.
- The two squads split during the regular season, with each team picking up a victory on its home court. The Wildcats shot the lights out at The Pavilion en route to an 81-69 win on Jan. 25, converting on 61 percent of their tries from the floor. Just about a month later at Carnesecca Arena, Aliyyah Handford scored a game-high 25 points on 11-of-16 shooting, leading the Red Storm to a 56-51 victory.
- Dating back to 2010, the Red Storm has won seven of the last eight contests played between the two teams.
For more information on the St John’s Women’s Basketball team fans are encouraged to click on the link seen here: