Trailing by as many as 12 early in the third quarter, the St. John’s Women’s Basketball team battled back and downed St. Bonaventure, 60-57, at Carnesecca Arena on Tuesday afternoon to wrap up non-conference play.
Qadashah Hoppie, the active leading scorer in the BIG EAST, led the way for St. John’s in scoring for the third time this season with 12 points. The Staten Island native also dished out three assists on the afternoon.
Leilani Correa recorded her first double-double of the year and the second of her young career, chipping in 11 points to go along with a team-high 10 rebounds.
Emma Nolan narrowly missed reaching double figures, posting eight points on 3-of-6 shooting from the floor, including a 2-of-3 mark from distance.
Raven Farley stuffed the stat sheet for St. John’s, finishing with seven rebounds, six points, three assists and a block.
The Johnnies got off to a hot start, unleashing a 7-0 run out of the gate. The Bonnies responded with a run of their own, rattling off eight unanswered points to take the lead, 8-7, midway through the opening quarter.
With 3:25 remaining in the first frame, Rayven Peeples converted on an and-one before Camree Clegg drained a shot from deep to put St. John’s back on top, 13-8. With under two minutes to play in the opening quarter, the Bonnies used a jumper to make it a one-possession game, 13-10, after 10 minutes of action.
St. Bonaventure went 3-of-4 from the charity stripe in the first two minutes of the second quarter to knot the score at 13. The Johnnies finally broke through at the 7:33 mark as Hoppie made a drive to the basket to keep St. John’s ahead, 15-13.
The Bonnies answered with five points to take their first lead of the game, 18-15. The two programs traded blows for nearly a minute before St. Bonaventure used a 10-3 run to pull ahead by as many as seven, 31-24, with under two minutes to play in the half.
With 44 ticks on the clock, Sara Zabrecky drained a shot from beyond-the-arc for St. John’s to make it a two-possession game, 31-27, at the intermission.
Coming out of the locker room, the Bonnies rattled off eight unanswered points to stretch its advantage to 12, 39-27, for their largest lead of the game. After three minutes of scoreless action for the home team, Farley snapped the streak with a layup. This lit a fire within the Johnnies as they outscored the visiting team, 17-7, over the remainder of the third stanza, trimming their deficit down to four, 41-37.
The Red Storm’s late third quarter spark carried over into the final frame as St. John’s opened up the fourth quarter on an 8-0 run to regain the lead, 52-46. The Bonnies would not go down quietly, pulling back within one twice over the final four minutes before Correa and Hoppie combined for four points to seal the victory.
St. John’s Head Coach Joe Tartamella
“I am happy with the way that we were able to finish today. It was something that we have been hoping to improve on and obviously we needed it. This ends what has been an extremely interesting up-and-down beginning to the year, so I am pleased with the way that we were able to perform in the fourth quarter. We were able to finish the game well and I was happy with the way that we were able to execute late in the game and being able to use our fouls to our advantage. From that standpoint, we were happy to be able to get a win and now be able to give these kids a break.”
On who took a step forward today…
“I thought that everybody helped us. I thought Camree Clegg played some really good minutes for us and she has been really good the last few games, so you are seeing that increase in minutes for her. I thought Emma [Nolan] in short spurts was really good, she was in-line to be three-for-six in a game where she only played ten minutes. Even Sara [Zabrecky] making a shot, you know, even though she played limited minutes. So, again, I thought the fact that we closed the gap to three on the rebounding front was big, that was something I was disappointed in at halftime. I thought our defensive switches bothered them and the zone was more effective.”
On how important the break will be for the team…
“It is really important. Some of these players have been here for quite some time. Our athletic department, our leadership, has done an incredible job to keep these players safe. An ancillary part to that is you have a situation where you have played for a long period of time. Physically, as we have seen, and mentally, they are in great need of that break and as I explained to them, they deserve it. They need to unplug if that is even possible and be able to relax and enjoy their family which is much-needed for many.”
On who stepped up when the team was down…
“She doesn’t get enough credit and it is very different than it was when she was a freshman, but Q [Qadashah Hoppie], regardless of whether she is playing or not, maintained a level of confidence and patience today that was important. I thought Emma Nolan gave us great effort off the bench to keep everybody alive and I thought we got performances from people who rebounded from poor first half performances. That is something that I consider growth and is important. I think that Q [Qadashah] and Emma jump started Leilani [Correa] a little bit where we tried to find her a little more and I thought she became more aggressive because of it. A lot can be said for Q [Qadashah] and what she has become, because as a freshman, even though she won BIG EAST Freshman of the Year she was quiet, so for her to do that and keep us calm, I am more proud of that than anything.”
Senior guard Qadashah Hoppie
On the confidence she has in her shot…
“I get all my confidence from my teammates. As the game kept going on and I saw my shots weren’t going in, everybody from the bench to the staff kept saying keep shooting the ball because the next one might go in, and that’s the mindset that I have to carry the whole game.”
On how important the break is going into BIG EAST play…
“Very important. We have a big stretch of BIG EAST games coming up, and those are really important. So, it’s important for us to enjoy the holidays, but also be focused when we come back and be ready to go.”
On the growth of leadership…
“Coming in as a freshman, I was definitely quieter and just here to learn almost more ears than talking. From freshman year to now, I have had to step up, having a younger group, having a lot of sophomores and freshmen and being able to lead them not only by example, but vocally. Just growing in that area every year is very important to me and I talk to Coach [Tartamella] about that all the time, just getting better as a player in that area.”
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