Reigning BIG EAST Player of the Week Andra Espinoza-Hunter registered a game-high 30 points on 12-of-26 shooting from the floor to lead Seton Hall past St. John’s, 87-64, on Wednesday afternoon.
A trio of Johnnies reached double figures, as Qadashah Hoppie led the way for the Red Storm in scoring for the third-straight game. The senior guard finished with 18 points on 6-of-16 shooting from the floor. The Staten Island native also tied Unique Drake in dishing out a team-best six assists.
Kadaja Bailey turned in double figures for the fifth time this season, chipping in 15 points on 7-of-9 shooting. The junior guard also grabbed three rebounds.
Leilani Correa rounded out double-digit scorers with 12 points to go along with a trio of boards.
Rayven Peeples paced St. John’s in rebounding with eight. The junior forward also grabbed a team-best three steals.
After being held to 0-of-5 shooting from the floor through the first 40 seconds of action, Seton Hall fired off a 10-2 run to take an early lead after three minutes of action.
The Red Storm (4-8, 1-6 BIG EAST) went without a point for nearly three minutes before Drake snapped the Johnnies’ scoring drought with a pull-up jumper to cut into Seton Hall’s lead, 10-4. The two teams traded blows over the next minute before the Pirates converted on a pair of fast breaks, growing their lead to 10, 16-6, midway through the opening quarter.
St. John’s began to chip away at Seton Hall’s advantage over the reminder of the period, pulling the score within seven, 22-15, after 10 minutes of action.
The home team uncorked a 21-9 run to open the second stanza and balloon their lead to 19, 43-24. The Johnnies locked in defensively down the stretch, holding the Pirates without a field goal over the final four minutes to pull the score within 14, 46-32, at the half.
Bailey led the way for the Red Storm through the first 20 minutes with 11 points on 5-of-6 shooting from the floor.
On the other side of the break, Seton Hall (7-3, 5-2 BIG EAST) used an 8-2 run to grow its lead to 20, 54-34. The Pirates continued to dominate over the next few minutes before the Johnnies pieced together an 8-2 run of their own, trimming their deficit down to 16, 63-47.
With 44 seconds remaining in the third quarter, Seton Hall’s Desiree Elmore converted on an and-one to build the Pirates’ lead back up to 19, 66-47, after 30 minutes of action.
The Johnnies would move within 16 twice over the final frame, but that was as close as they would get, as Seton Hall pulled ahead by 23 in the waning seconds.
The Red Storm will return to action on Monday, when the team travels to Villanova for a 7 p.m. meeting with the Wildcats.
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