St. John’s basketball awaiting NCAA Tournament fate

St. John's basketball guard Jayla Everett (David Butler II-USA TODAY Sports)
St. John's basketball guard Jayla Everett (David Butler II-USA TODAY Sports) /

The St. John’s basketball team is awaiting its fate after falling the in Big East Tournament.  

After surviving a scare against Providence in their regular season finale to clinch the No. 4 seed in the Big East Tournament, the St. John’s basketball Team took on No. 5 seed Marquette in the tournament quarterfinals.

Both teams had split their regular season meetings coming into the contest with each program winning on its home floor.

The win in Queens was the Red Storm’s first over the Golden Eagles since 2019.

The game was a tight affair with Marquette taking a 26-24 at halftime and the 3rd quarter was no different with St. John’s edging Marquette, 17-14, to take a 41-40 lead to the final ten minutes.

Then, Marquette absolutely took over.

Joe Tartamella saw his team outscored 17-6 and as the Golden Eagles closed out a 57-47 win to advance to the Big East Tournament semifinal.

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St. John’s was just 3-of-10 shooting in the final stanza as Mimi Reid led the way with 11 points while Kadaja Bailey added in 10 points in the loss.

Marquette stung St. John’s with a three-headed monster in Chloe Marotta, Jordan King, and Liza Karlen.

Marotta led the game with an 18-point, 14-rebound double-double while King and Karlen each had 16 points.

Marquette would fall the following day to the Villanova Wildcats, which eventually lost to UConn in the championship game.

St. John’s basketball receives regular season honors

Before starting postseason play, senior Unique Drake was awarded the Sixth Woman of the Year Award after averaging 8.5 points per game on 41-percent shooting.

Drake had seven points in 23 minutes  against Marquette and has consistently put together good production off the bench.

Joe Tartamella was named the Big East Coach of the Year after leading the Red Storm to a 4th place finish in the standings after being picked 7th in the Preseason Coaches Poll.

Tartamella’s seat in Queens was beginning to get warm after multiple seasons below .500, but the long-time head coach led a Red Storm team featuring five new players, including three transfers, to a record 13 straight wins to begin the season and never looked back.

St. John’s could be in line for their first appearance back in the NCAA Tournament since 2016, but remains very close to the cut line.

Jayla Everett, a transfer from Pittsburgh, was also honored by being named to the First Team All-Big East after leading St. John’s in scoring with 16.1 points per game while shooting 41.7-percent from the field and connecting on 42.5-percent of her attempts from 3-point range, which was good for 4th in the league.

St. John’s now sits at 22-8 on the season, with a NET ranking of 55, and will eagerly await a potential NCAA Tournament bid. Its win over UConn in Hartford could be the deciding factor if the Johnnies get the nod to the Big Dance.

The NCAA Women’s Tournament Selection Show will be on Sunday at 8:00p.m. ET on ESPN.

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