St. John’s basketball back on track with win over Rhode Island

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) /

St. John’s basketball bounces back with Sunday afternoon win over Rhode Island 

The St. John’s basketball squad got back in the win column with a Sunday afternoon victory over Rhode Island at Carnesecca Arena, 55-44.

The Red Storm returned home after back-to-back games on the road coming off of a 67-62 loss to Fairfield last Thursday.

St. John’s got out to a hot start, shooting 50-percent from the field and making three of its first four attempts from 3-point range in the first quarter.

The Johnnies struggled in a low-scoring 2nd quarter where both teams scored a combined 12 points and Rhode Island outscored the Red Storm 8-4 to head into halftime tied at 20.

The game would be fairly even until the 4th quarter when St. John’s would pull away, outscoring the Rams 23-12 in the final frame to get the win.

St. John’s was led by redshirt senior guard Unique Drake with a game-high 16 points. Drake, the reigning Big East Sixth Woman of the Year, is out to a breakout season leading the Red Storm with 19.5 points per game.

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Drake has normally been a solid guard off the bench for the Red Storm throughout her career in Queens, but became a consistent starter, and has flourished this season.

Sophomore Skye Owen also played a key role in the win scoring 14 points in 28 minutes off the bench. The guard from Staten Island is seeing more time compared to her freshman season and is off to a solid start to the year averaging 7.1 points per game.

The Red Storm had three players in double figures. Robert Morris transfer Phoenix Gedeon also had a solid game on the boards with 10 rebounds along with six points and two assists.

The win takes St. John’s to 5-6 in the 2023-24 season. It’s been an uneven start to the year with the Johnnies only winning back-to-back games once this season, but they’ll need to start finding some consistency with conference play on the horizon.

St. John’s basketball ready for conference play

Next up, St. John’s will have the week off before they start conference play against Villanova at Madison Square Garden on Saturday at 6 PM.

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The Red Storm will look to snap a nine-game losing streak to the Wildcats in a historic clash with the two teams facing off against each other for the first time at the World’s Most Famous Arena since the 2005-06 season.

The Johnnies are 21-38 all-time against Villanova.

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