St. John’s basketball: Jayla Everett game-winner sinks Purdue in First Four

St. John's basketball forward Jayla Everett (Gregory Fisher-USA TODAY Sports)
St. John's basketball forward Jayla Everett (Gregory Fisher-USA TODAY Sports) /

St. John’s basketball forward Jayla Everett sunk a game-winner at the NCAA Tournament. 

The fourth quarter struggles that haunted the St. John’s basketball team at different portions of the season returned.

The Red Storm, leading by a point, scored just six fourth quarter points in its last game against Marquette in the Big East Tournament quarterfinals.

St. John’s had a 15-point lead before being outscored 25-7 on the road against Villanova earlier this year to lose by three.

Joe Tartamella’s team had just four points in the fourth quarter on Thursday night in the First Four of the NCAA Tournament against Purdue and saw its 12-point lead entering the final 10 minutes vanish.

There was 30.5 seconds left, scored knotted at 64, and were 2-of-11 from the field but it didn’t matter.

Jayla Everett, driving to her right, hit a floater with 0.3 seconds to give St. John’s a 66-64 lead and clinched its first NCAA Tournament victory since 2014.

The basket gave her 20 points on the night to lead all scorers and the six points in the fourth quarter was all the Johnnies needed to secure the win.

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Everett was the best player on the floor for the Red Storm overall, but specifically in the second half with 13 points on 5-of-8 shooting, obviously none bigger than the final play of the game.

St. John’s basketball hoping to find consistency from strong segments

The script was set up perfectly for St. John’s until the final quarter.

After a nervous start, the Red Storm caught fire from the field in the second quarter to connect on 8-of-12 shots, six coming from beyond the arc.

It was a 26-point frame for the Johnnies led by the unusual suspects of Unique Drake and Danielle Cosgrove, who combined for 17 points on 5-of-5 shooting in the quarter, all from 3-point range.

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Drake was the only other player for the Johnnies to be in double figures with 16 points as Cosgrove, who averaged just 1.8 points per contest entering the game, finished with eight points.

St. John’s will continus its postseason run against No. 6 seed North Carolina on Saturday afternoon (4:00p.m. ET, ESPN) from Columbus as the program looks to advance beyond the Round of 64 in the NCAA Tournament since 2014.

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