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St. John’s Women’s Basketball Outlasts Memphis at Las Vegas Invitational, 61-57

In a hard-fought defensive battle, the St. John’s Women’s Basketball team outlasted Memphis, 61-57, to open the Las Vegas Invitational on Friday.    

The stifling Red Storm defense held Memphis to just 57 points and 36 percent shooting from the field at The Mirage. The Tigers came into today’s game scoring 85.8 points per outing, which ranked 16th in the country.   

Jayla Everett led all scorers with 16 points. The redshirt senior was dynamite from the line, going a perfect 9-for-9 from the charity stripe.   

 Kadaja Bailey finished in double-figures for the eighth-straight contest, adding 12 points. The guard sunk the go-ahead basket to make it 56-55 with 2:30 remaining.   

For the second consecutive outing, Jillian Archer registered a near double-double with nine points and a team-high 10 rebounds.   

The two sides went back and forth for the majority contest that featured eight lead changes and six ties. The Red Storm held the advantage for the most of the game but it never led by more than eight points.   

During the opening 10 minutes, the defenses prevailed as both sides struggled to get it going offensively. The Johnnies opened the scoring on a bucket by Bailey assisted by Mimi Reid. The dish marked the 500th career assist for the graduate student point guard. At the conclusion of the first frame, Memphis drilled a three-pointer before a pair of Reid free-throws made it 12-11 in favor of the Red and White.  

In the second quarter, St. John’s (5-0) started to find its groove offensively. A 13-4 run to open the period put the Red Storm ahead. A Unique Drake three-pointer pushed the advantage to six, 22-16, forcing a Memphis timeout with 7:01 remaining in the half. Bailey capped off the scoring stretch with a runner that gave the Johnnies their largest lead of the evening, 24-16. The Red Storm kept the Tigers at arm’s length for the remainder of the half, taking a 31-24 lead into the break.   

In the final frame, Memphis refused to go down without a fight. A 5-0 run spurred solely by Emani Jefferson gave the Tigers their first lead since the first quarter, 51-50, with 3:48 left to play. The resilient Red Storm squad responded with an old-fashion three-point play by Everett. The guard was fouled on a made turnaround jumper and cashed in from the line, making it 54-53 with just under three minutes to go.  After a quick Tigers basket, Bailey came up in the clutch with a floater from the middle of the paint to retake the lead that it never relinquished.  

As it has all season, the St. John’s defense buckled down in key situations and forced Memphis into a shot-clock violation with 33 seconds to go, up.  

St. John’s took care of business at the charity stripe in the final 1:05, sinking 3-of-4 attempts from the line to close out the game.   

St. John’s will play its second leg of the Las Vegas Invitational tomorrow at 4:15 p.m. ET. The contest against the UTSA Roadrunners will be streamed live on FloSports.  

For more information on the St. John’s Athletics Department fans are encouraged to click on the link seen here:

MBB vs. Niagara Next Game – St. John’s University Athletics – Official Athletics Website (redstormsports.com)

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