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St. John’s Women’s Basketballto Open Up Gulf Coast Showcase Against Penn State

The St. John’s women’s basketball program will take part in the ninth-annual Gulf Coast Showcase at Hertz Arena in Southwest Florida from Nov. 26-28.

St. John’s will open up play against Penn State on Nov. 26 at 7:30 p.m. for the first-ever meeting between the two programs. While this will mark the inaugural matchup for the Johnnies and the Lady Lions, Penn State Head Coach Carolyn Kieger is no stranger to the Red Storm, having served as the head coach at BIG EAST foe Marquette for five seasons.

The contest between the Johnnies and the Lady Lions will be streamed live on FloSports.

On Saturday, St. John’s will meet either No. 13 Iowa State or Charlotte. On Sunday, the Johnnies will wrap up the invitational against Kent State, South Dakota State, UCLA or UMass. Tipoff times for both Saturday and Sunday are yet to be determined.

This will be St. John’s second trip to the Gulf Coast Showcase over the last five seasons, as the Johnnies participated in the tournament during the 2017-18 campaign.

This season, the Red Storm has been led in the early going by Leilani Correa, a 2020-21 All-BIG EAST First Team selection.  The junior guard is averaging 16.7 points per game though a trio of contests this year. Kadaja Bailey, who poured in a career-high 24 points against Temple on Nov. 17, is also averaging double figures on the campaign. Bailey is boasting 15.3 points to go along with 5.5 boards per contest.

The Red Storm enters Friday’s matchup on the heels of an 86-68 victory over Yale on Sunday. The Johnnies have finished with over 85 points in two of its four games this year. As a team, the squad is averaging 77.8 points per game to sit second overall in the conference. In its win over the Bulldogs, St. John’s tied a program record for 3-pointers made, converting on 14 shots from beyond the arc.

 Unique Drake and Danielle Cosgrove are coming off career-high performances against Yale. Drake led the way for St. John’s in scoring, recording a personal-best 24 points. The Columbia, S.C., native knocked down 10 of her 18 attempts from the floor. Cosgrove also set a new career-high against the Bulldogs, finishing with 18 points. The Holbrook, N.Y., native drained a trio of triples against St. John’s Ivy League foe.

The Lady Lions enter Friday’s game with a record of 3-1 and are coming off a 67-64 setback at Clemson on Sunday. Makenna Marisa, who was named Co-Big Ten Player of the Week, finished with 29 points, and eight assists against the Tigers. Prior to that, Marisa recorded a 30-point triple-double with 11 assists and 10 steals against Delaware State on Tuesday.

Through four games this season, Marisa leads the Big Ten in points per game (23.0) and assists per game (6.8) while sitting second in three-pointers per game (3.8) and third in steals (3.0). As a team, Penn State ranks eighth in the country in scoring offense (88.0) and third in the nation in assists per game (22.0).

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