St. John’s basketball steamrolls St. Peter’s with Big East play looming

St. John's basketball guard Leilani Correa (Matt Marton-USA TODAY Sports)
St. John's basketball guard Leilani Correa (Matt Marton-USA TODAY Sports) /

St. John’s basketball was able to steamroll St. Peter’s and head into conference play on a high note.

Following a season opener win where the St. John’s basketball program defeated Fairleigh Dickinson, the Johnnies kept that momentum in its home opener against St. Peter’s.

A dominant first half propelled the Johnnies (2-0) to a victory over the Peacocks (1-1), 85-47.

Still without unanimous selection to the Preseason All-Big East Team, Qadashah Hoppie, the Red Storm’s other Preseason All-Big East member Leilani Correa has been able to pace the team in scoring, while getting her teammates involved.

“I felt we played better than the other day which is the most important part,” head coach Joe Tartamella said, “I though we got great contributions from some of the newcomers today which was important.

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Correa finished Tuesday’s victory with 19 points, three rebounds, five assists, one block, and a steal while Rayven Pepples led the Johnnies with 22 points, nine rebounds, and five blocks.

“When we play smaller teams like this, we have a lot of shooters on our team, and I bring the defense in by posting up and scoring and getting rebounds it opens up the floor a lot more,” Pepples said.

St. John’s was able to shoot a scorching 54.1 percent from the field and 53.8 percent from 3-point range while holding St. Peter’s to a 22.5 percent clip from the floor and a lowly 9.1 percent from beyond the arc.

Unique Drake also added 16 points, four rebounds, and four assists while Kadaja Bailey posted 14 points, five rebounds, and two assists in the victory.

St. John’s basketball thrown into the fire early

Despite not having a close game yet, head coach Joe Tartamella thinks his team is ready for the gauntlet of Big East play.

“We can adapt a little bit quicker, but we have a lot of things we need to sure up heading into Big East play, and we have a couple of days to get things right. I like our ability to rebound the ball more than we did last year, I think that is one of the biggest differences,” Tartamella added.

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St. John’s will remain in Queens and were scheduled to face the Georgetown Hoyas on Friday afternoon but Georgetown had COVID-19 positive tests within its program and that game has been postponed.

The Johnies will return to the court on Sunday evening against Villanova at 7:00pm EST.

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