Preseason All-BIG EAST selection Selena Lott registered a game-high 30 points on 11-of-14 shooting from the floor to lead Marquette past St. John’s, 72-61, on Sunday afternoon.
Qadashah Hoppie paced the way offensively for the Red Storm (4-7, 1-5 BIG EAST), registering 15 points in 29 minutes of action. The senior guard, who moved into second on the program’s all-time list for three pointers made earlier this season, converted on three of her six attempts from beyond the arc bumping her career total to 183. The Staten Island native also dished out a pair of assists.
Sophomore guard Leilani Correa picked up her third double-double of the season and the fifth of her Red Storm career, finishing with 11 points and 10 rebounds.
Raven Farley rounded out the trio of Johnnies who reached double-digits with 11 points on 5-of-9 shooting from the floor. The Elizabeth, N.J., native also tallied four rebounds and a block on the afternoon.
The Johnnies, who led the BIG EAST and ranked 12th overall in the NCAA in blocks entering today’s game, picked up seven rejections against the Golden Eagles (7-2, 4-1 BIG EAST).
St. John’s opened up the scoring with Farley making a drive to the basket to give the Johnnies an early advantage. It didn’t take Marquette’s defense long to lock in, as the Red Storm went scoreless over the next three minutes with the Golden Eagles leading, 8-2.
The Red Storm finally broke through at the six-minute mark as Rayven Peeples finished at the rim. Seconds later, Kadaja Bailey drew a foul to take a trip to the line. The junior guard converted on both of her attempts from the charity stripe to make it a one-possession game, 8-6.
The two teams traded blows over the remainder of the first frame with Marquette leading, 22-19, after 10 minute of action.
Neither team managed to find the bottom of the basket in the first two minutes of the second quarter. Correa finally snapped the scoring drought with a beyond-the-arc shot to knot the game at 22. Peeples followed with a layup to give St. John’s its first lead since the opening seconds of the game, 24-22.
Just under a minute later, Marquette regained the lead, 26-24. The back-and-forth battle continued for the two programs as the remainder of the half saw four lead changes, with Marquette holding a four-point edge, 37-33, at the intermission.
Coming out of the break, the Johnnies used a 7-2 run to take back the lead, 40-39, in the first two minutes of the third quarter. After a tradeoff of baskets, the visiting Golden Eagles unleashed a 10-0 run to take a nine-point lead, 51-42, with three minutes to play in the third.
Farley snapped the Johnnies’ scoreless streak with a pull-up jumper. This lit a fire within the Red Storm, as the home team took off on a 7-1 run down the stretch to pull the score within three, 52-49, after 30 minutes of action.
The Golden Eagles opened up the final frame on an 18-4 run, growing their advantage to 15, 70-55, for their largest lead of the day. The Johnnies would cut the deficit down to 11 with just under a minute to play, but that was as close as they would get.
The Johnnies will return to action on Wednesday when they travel to Seton Hall for a 1 p.m. matchup with the Pirates at Walsh Gymnasium.
St. John’s Head Coach Joe Tartamella
“I was disappointed in our ability and effort there to finish the game. I thought Marquette did a good job of doing the things that they do well, and we really didn’t finish. I felt good in the first half even though we were down. We had played without Q [Qadashah Hoppie] for a while. I thought that they took us out of certain things, but when you give up 42 rebounds, the second-chance points are just debilitating. It was hard for us to manufacture points today and I credit them. Now we move on to the next one.”
On why the team struggled to score in the fourth quarter…
“I think we were taking quick shots that affected our ability to score and had some shot selection that hurt us throughout the course of the game. We weren’t able to get the ball to the rim and get inside to manufacture points at the free throw line, so there were a lot of factors in there that didn’t allow us to get points on the board, especially late.”
On what makes it so hard to slow down Selena Lott…
“She took just seven shots in her last game, so people have done it. I think we have done a good job at times, but she plays really hard. She plays with a certain intensity that you need to have, and she is a veteran player. She can do a couple different things from a scoring standpoint and she was aggressive today. We were not up to the task to match that intensity and she was able to score in ways that we were not able to help ourselves.”
On the team’s transition defense…
“You have to have a mentality where you have shot balance and you are recovering and have a point of attack in transition defense where you are able to dictate which side you want the ball on. You would think if you aren’t rebounding, you would be able to get back, however, we didn’t do that today. They ran their lanes and they played hard. We allowed vision and I thought we struggled to match and communicate in the half-court as they got over, so that is a tough way to play.”
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