St. John’s basketball cannot complete comeback against North Carolina

St. John's basketball head coach Joe Tartamella (David Butler II-USA TODAY Sports)
St. John's basketball head coach Joe Tartamella (David Butler II-USA TODAY Sports) /

The St. John’s basketball team could not complete the comeback against North Carolina. 

A resurgent season came to an end on Saturday afternoon for the St. John’s basketball team.

The Red Storm, after securing its first NCAA Tournament victory since 2014 on Thursday, booked a date with No. 6 seed North Carolina and it looked like the Tar Heels were going to have its way with the Johnnies.

The Tar Heels jumped out to a 12-3 lead in the opening minutes but St. John’s would settle in and start to chip away.

North Carolina was in control of the game until the Red Storm visited the free throw line 13 times in the third quarter, making 12 attempts, to take a five point lead, 46-41, entering the fourth quarter.

Danielle Patterson carried the momentum into the final ten minutes for the Red Storm, scoring eight points within the first five minutes.

St. John’s led by as many as five, 54-49, with 3:57 remaining but the Tar Heels had one last run left.

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Paulina Paris tied the game on a conventional 3-point opportunity with 1:59 to play before Teonni Key gave the Tar Heels the lead from the free throw line.

Mimi Reid tied the game twice in the final minute, the biggest shot with 6.2 seconds remaining on an acrobatic layup.

Deja Kelly would also have a 3-point opportunity to put the Tar Heels in front, 61-58, with 2.3 seconds left but Kelly would foul Patterson in her shooting motion to give the senior a chance to tie the game at the free throw line with 1.5 left.

Patterson missed the first two free throws before making the final attempt as North Carolina survived, 61-59.

St. John’s basketball stuck against potent defense

Jayla Everett, the star from St. John’s win over Purdue, didn’t look like herself after taking a hard foul in the third quarter.

Everett still finished with a team-high 17 points but only took two shots from the field after halftime.

ALSO READ: St. John’s knew it belonged in NCAA Tournament

The Red Storm shot just 37.5-percent from the field, although making 6-of-11 attempts from 3-point range.

Kadaja Bailey had nine points but was just 3-for-13 from the field in her final collegiate game.

An interesting offseason awaits for head coach Joe Tartamella and St. John’s, which could see as many as eight players leave the program due to eligibility constraints.

North Carolina will play No. 3 seed Ohio State in the Round of 32 on Monday.