WBB: Hofstra Falls To Nationally Ranked St. Johnís
Courtesy: Hofstra Athletic Communications
Queens, N.Y. - Shenneika Smith posted a double-double in the first half en route to scoring 18 points and grabbing 15 rebounds for St. John's as Hofstra fell, 73-47, to the nationally ranked Red Storm on Saturday afternoon at Carnesecca Arena.
Senior forward Shante Evans scored 12 points for her third straight game in double figures but Hofstra dropped to 1-2 in losing to a St. John's team that entered ranked 20th in the Associated Press poll and 18th in the USA Today coaches' poll. Nadirah McKenith scored a game-high 24 points to help St. John's improve to 2-1.
Junior guard Annie Payton contributed nine points and sophomore guard Andreana Thomas notched eight points for the Pride, which was bidding for its second straight win over the Big East-member Red Storm after Hofstra defeated St. John's at home last season.
Briana Brown scored 12 points, giving St. John's three players in double figures. Senior forward Candace Bond grabbed five rebounds, scored four points and contributed two blocks for the Pride in their first true road contest of the season after two season-opening games in Daytona Beach, Fla. last week.
St. John's built a double-digit halftime lead and added to it coming out of the break. McKenith used her aggressiveness to give her team a cushion, driving to the lane and drawing a foul for a three-point play that put the Red Storm ahead, 57-39, with almost 13 minutes left in the game. Hofstra would not get closer than 18 the rest of the way.
The matchup featured three players who were named to the Naismith Trophy watch list this week, with Evans, Smith and McKenith making the top-50 cut for the player of the year award. From the outset, the trio showed the skills that warranted inclusion on the list, with Evans scoring eight first-half points.
But Smith scored 14 points on 6-of-9 shooting and hauled in 10 rebounds to help St. John's take a 43-31 halftime lead. McKenith added 15 points on 5-of-7 shooting as the duo accounted for 29 of the Red Storm's point total before the break.
Less than six minutes in, St. John's went on an 11-1 run, punctuated by Smith's right-wing jump shot before the guard made a steal and a lay-up for an eight point edge. Hofstra went on a 7-2 run to get as close as 13-10. Thomas scored eight consecutive Hofstra points at one juncture in the first half to keep the Pride within two possessions.
St. John's ended the half on a 9-3 run capped by Eugeneia McPherson's lay-up with 15 seconds left to provide the 12-point cushion.
Hofstra will next be in action on Sunday, Nov. 25 against Saint Joseph's in the home opener. Game time at the Mack Sports Complex is set for 2 p.m. Fans can call (516)HOF-TIXX for ticket information.