On Friday March 16, St. John’s University will sponsor a pep rally at Carnesecca Arena for the three-seeded women’s basketball team.
Their seeding, the highest ever for the ladies in the NCAA tournament, was a perfect honor to put a cap on what has been one of the best in program history. It started off a little rocky, however. On November 12, the Red Storm kicked off their season with a surprising and disappointing home loss to St. Bonaventure. The entire first month, in fact, was a struggle for the women who were playing without their best player, Da’Shena Stevens who was out with a knee injury.
When Stevens returned following a loss to undefeated Baylor, the Lady Johnnies season turned around. It started on January 8, with a home win over 19th ranked Louisville. Then nine days later, the women defeated 20th ranked Rutgers. Perhaps the best stretch of the season came on a road trip, though. On February 12, the Red Storm once again defeated Rutgers, although this time on the Scarlet Knights’ home floor.
The culmination of the road trip, and perhaps the season, came on February 18 at the fourth ranked UCONN Huskies. Geno Auriemma and Co. had a 99 game winning streak at home coming into the game. Nevertheless, the ladies pulled out at stunning 57-56 victory on a three-pointer by Shenneika Smith in the final seconds.
St. John’s finished the season in 3rd place in the Big East and lost in the semi-finals of the Big East Tournament to UCONN. Now, they head to Norman, Oklahoma to face 14th seeded Creighton. Kim Barnes Arico and her team now have high expectations, most notably President Barack Obama picking them to make the Final Four in Denver.
But no matter what, this season has been a success and a building block for a bright future in Queens.