St. John's basketball defeats Florida in WBIT, will face Toledo next

The Red Storm season is not ending just yet
Florida Gators guard Zippy Broughton (4) defends St. John's Red Storm guard Unique Drake (1) during
Florida Gators guard Zippy Broughton (4) defends St. John's Red Storm guard Unique Drake (1) during / Matt Pendleton/Gainesville Sun / USA

On Thursday, the St. John's basketball team advanced in the WBIT after taking down Florida in a high-scoring affair, 79-60.

It was the most points the Red Storm have scored since January 25, a 83-77 double overtime win over DePaul. It was also their highest point total in regulation since the season opener against LIU where they scored 81 points.

Unique Drake once again continued her fantastic season this time going off for a new career-high 37 points on 68-percent shooting. Drake's terrific play was just a microcosm for a Red Storm offense that could not be stopped on Thursday evening.

The Red Storm shot 60-percent from the field for the game. Ber'Nyah Mayo and Jillian Archer were the other Johnnies that finished in double figures with 16 and 15 points, respectively.

St. John's held Florida to just 38-percent shooting and scored 11 points off eight Gator turnovers. Ex-Red Storm guard Leilani Correa was held to only four points and six rebounds in 23 minutes off the bench.

St. John's would jump out to a comfortable 44-29 lead at halftime and did not take their foot off the gas, putting the game out of reach with a dominant 3rd quarter outscoring the Gators, 17-9.

Aliyah Matharu led the scoring for Florida with 23 points in the losing effort.

Next up the Red Storm will face Toledo (27-5, 17-1 MAC), the regular season champions out of the Mid-American Conference.

The Rockets advanced to Sunday's matchup after taking down Cleveland State 76-68. The team's second leading scorer Sophia Wiard led the way with 20 points in the win.

Her along with fifth-year guard Quinesha Lockett are averaging double figures for the Rockets this season. Slowing this duo down is a critical key to slow down an offense averaging 73 points per game in order for the Red Storm to advance.

Sunday's meeting will be historic as St. John's and Toledo have only faced off once all-time. That meeting came back in the 1997-98 season where the Rockets defeated the Red Storm 79-46.