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Still playing: St. John’s women’s team has nothing to lose in WNIT

The Red Storm lived to play again with a 65-59 win against Iona in the WNIT second round Monday night at Carnesecca Arena. They'll play Boston College in the third round Thursday night in Queens at 7 p.m."We're playing with house money right now," coach Kim Barnes Arico said. "We're just happy to be playing and it's a great opportunity for our seniors to go out in this kind of situation. We're happy to keep on going. We have nothing to lose."While the seniors, veterans of St. John's only NCAA tournament berth (2006) in more than two decades, are contributing as usual, it was a junior who put the Red Storm on her back against the Gaels. Monique McLean, the 5-foot-11 guard, had 20 points on 8-of-19 shooting and seven rebounds. The rest of the team shot only 30 percent from the field.Wright, who said St. John's (17-14) was rusty after more than two weeks off, was just glad McLean was on her side for the first time in awhile."I'm glad to be finally playing with her," said the senior, who should go down as one of the best players in program history. "Coach always has us against each other in practice. To have her out there on my team, I miss that."Wright did her part in the win against Iona (20-14), too. The 5-foot-8 guard from Copiague, L.I., shot only 3-of-12 from the field, but scored 16 points, nine of which came from the free-throw line, and dished out seven assists. Wright also had a clutch three-point play with 5:46 left in the game that gave St. John's a 54-41 lead - its largest of the game. On the play, Iona's Thazina Cook sent Wright, who is playing with a multitude of injuries, to the floor."I told Kia, just keep up and keep fighting because you motivate me, you make me want to work harder," said sophomore Joy McCorvey, who had all six of her points in the second half. "And when I see her, as hurt as she is, just get knocked around - and she gets hit hard - (it makes me want to) keep fighting. She brings so much energy to our team."And that's why St. John's keeps playing. Her teammates don't want to see the last of Wright just yet. Keep winning; keep playing.Reach Associate Sports Editor Marc Raimondi by e-mail at mraimondi@timesledger.com or call 718-229-0300, Ext. 130.

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