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SJU women fall in first round of Big East tournament

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St. John’s, which entered the...

By Dylan Butler

The disappointing 2000-01 season finally came to a close Saturday for the St. John’s women’s basketball team as the Red Storm fell to Villanova, 63-41, in the Big East quarterfinals at Gampel Pavilion in Storrs, Conn.

St. John’s, which entered the tournament as the No. 12 seed, finished the season with an 8-20 record and was done in by a treacherous first half. The Red Storm scored just 18 points and shot a mere 21 percent (5-for-23) from the field as No. 5 Villanova (21-7) connected on 58 percent from the floor (14-for-24) and led 39-18 at the break.

“I thought our first half was not a good first half in the sense of court awareness and reacting to what Villanova was trying to do,” said St. John’s head coach Darcel Estep.

After a dismal first half, the Red Storm played much better in the second half as Telisha Warner and Sherri Brown opened the stanza with back-to-back jumpers. St. John’s played a much more disciplined game in the second half, committing just two turnovers but the Red Storm could not get out of the 21-point hole it dug itself in the first half.

“First half we didn’t come out to play to our ability, we were lax on defense and we didn’t move the ball well on offense,” said junior guard Rasheedah Brown who scored eight points for the Red Storm. “In the second half we came in and we just picked it up. If we had come into the game like that we would have been much better.”

Latasha Thompson led St. John’s with 12 points, including three three-pointers. She finished her career 10th on the St. John’s all-time scoring list with 1,073 points. All-Big East third team selection Brandi Barnes led Villanova with 14 points on 7-for-10 shooting. Trish Juhline had 12 points and Courtney Mix added 10 for the Wildcats.

“The second half was truly what St. John’s women’s basketball is all about. The fire, the intensity, the way we fought back,” Estep said. “We just wished we had put it together for 40 minutes. I thought in the second half you really saw the intensity...that we needed to get fired up on the offensive end.”

Reach Associate Sports Editor Dylan Butler by e-mail at Timesledgr@aol.com or call 229-0300, Ext. 143.

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