Trailing No. 22/22 DePaul by as many as 20 late in the third quarter, the St. John’s Women’s Basketball team put forth a tenacious effort to trim its deficit down to one in the closing minutes. The Blue Demons, however, scored the game’s last seven points to escape Carnesecca Arena with an 81-73 victory.
Sophomore guard Leilani Correa finished with 33 points on 14-of-30 shooting from the floor, eclipsing the 30-point mark for the third-consecutive contest. The Manchester, N.J., native is the first player in program history to string together such a stretch of games. Correa has now reached the 30-point plateau a league-best five times this season and eight times over her Red Storm career, becoming the first player to do so since the realignment of the BIG EAST. In addition to her scoring prowess, the 6-foot guard pulled down four rebounds to go along with two assists and a steal.
Junior guard Kadaja Bailey finished second on the team in scoring with 12 points on 5-of-9 shooting from the floor. The Long Beach, N.Y., native led the Johnnies in both assists and rebounds, dishing out six dimes while grabbing six boards on the evening.
Senior forward Raven Farley chipped in 11 points on 5-of-7 shooting from the floor. The Elizabeth, N.J., native also grabbed five rebounds to go along with a career-high five assists in 33 minutes of action.
DePaul (11-4, 8-2 BIG EAST) opened up the game on a 16-2 run to take an early double-digit lead after three-and-a-half minutes of action, forcing the Johnnies to call a timeout. Coming out of the huddle, the Red Storm (5-11, 2-9 BIG EAST) began to chip away at the Blue Demons’ lead, getting back within 11, 25-14, after 10 minutes of action.
The Johnnies continued to cut into DePaul’s advantage through the second stanza, trimming their deficit down to seven, 33-26, with 3:30 to play in the half. The two programs battled back and forth over the final minutes, with DePaul leading, 41-33, at the intermission.
The Blue Demons rattled off a 9-3 run to open the third quarter and grow their lead back up to 14, 50-36. The visiting team’s advantage reached as many as 20, 62-42, with just under four minutes remaining in the third period. With the home team in need of an offensive surge, St. John’s took off on a 14-2 run to get back within eight, 64-56, after 30 minutes of action.
St. John’s carried its momentum over from the third quarter, getting back within one, 74-73, before DePaul’s defense held St. John’s off the board the rest of the way.
The Red Storm will return to action on Saturday, Feb. 13, when the team travels to Indianapolis for a 1 p.m. meeting with the Butler Bulldogs.
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