Just the Facts, Ma'am: St. John's put four players in double figures and led wire to wire in their 75-38 win over Boston University. Eugeneia McPherson and Shenneika Smith each had 15 to lead the Red Storm, with McPherson adding six steals. Chantell Alford had 12 for the Terriers, while Rashidat Agboola had eight points and eleven rebounds.
For cool hats, exhaustion, ennui, and unexpected points in the paint, join your intrepid and ringing blogger after the jump.
The last Game Notes of Doom of 2011 (or the first of 2012, now)! Hard to believe, isn't it? The year's gone by so quickly...
I have to give BU fans credit- they took advantage of the three-day layover in New York and came in force. There were a lot of them. I also like their player-family gear. Johnny Thunderbird was almost too friendly to them- he darn near ran out of hats by the time he got to our section. (Yes, we got New Year's hats. Mine was red. /preens)
Our band has a gnome. Your argument is invalid.
BU looked exhausted. They were a step slow for most of the game; we're a good defensive team, but I've never seen us stay with a team through as many moves as we did. They would fake one or two or three times, and we'd be with them every time.
We saw a lot of their bench in the second half, because, y'know, thirty-point game, even a Terrier knows when to lay off. The spelling of Troi Melton's name makes me wonder if her family were Trekkies (but that's just because I'm a Trekkie myself). She gave them some good minutes. Whitney Turner was the first one off the bench in both halves, bringing them some size and physicality. Kristen Sims played a lot, but wasn't able to accomplish much. Greenberg started mixing in her deeper bench early in the game, so we saw a lot of players for short spurts.
Chantell Alford played well. She has a nicely balanced game, which I like in a player. Caroline Stewart didn't have a boxscore kind of game, but I like the way she took up space and the defense she brought. Rashidat Agboola did not demonstrate the world's greatest ball control, especially in the first half, when she had two bad turnovers in a row. Alex Young tried to make something happen, but it didn't happen. Mo Moran, who I dimly recall from her freshman year being someone to keep an eye out for, wasn't much of a factor.
Maybe someone gave Kelly Greenberg downers, maybe she's gotten one too many technicals, maybe she was wiped after three days in New York, but she was a lot calmer than I remember her being. I'm not sure if this is a good thing for her team or not.
Jennifer Blanding! The most popular woman in the room and the namesake of our Christmas tree, she got in late and made an impact. Big girl takes up a lot of space in the middle, and I wish Kim Barnes Arico would use her in those situations more. Briana Brown can't shoot straight, but she hit a three in an attempt to light the tree (alas, Mallory Jones went scoreless, meaning that Jennifer Tannenbaum is the only St. John's tree lit up today). Tesia Harris played surprisingly well, coming up with more loose balls than I think even she was expecting. Keylantra Langley was solid but unremarkable except for the one three that beat the shot clock. (Her flair for the dramatic usually annoys me, except when it has to do with the shot clock.) I think someone clued Mary Nwachukwu in to the fact that she needs to get her act together if she's going to get minutes, with Da'Shena's return and Amber's improvement. Either that, or she's still BC enough to get up for a game against BU, and she'll go back to soft mediocrity against Providence. But it was nice to see her hitting shots and going for loose balls.
Oh, hey, Nadirah McKenith! Nice to have you back. She's still a couple of steps slow, and the knee's bothering her, but she's going to be back, and I'm quite glad of it. She and Amber Thompson hooked up for a couple of beautiful plays. Amber was more assertive on offense than I've seen her in a while, and kept up her hustling for rebounds, even if she wasn't always able to get her hands on them. Shenneika Smith was quiet and a bit fumble-prone early in the game, but as time went on, that dagger-like shot showed up for the party. Eugeneia McPherson went for the shot instead of the foul, and her game was better for it. This is the Gina I enjoy watching- the one who goes to the rack without fear, who gives up her body without hesitation, and who strips the ball from her opponents like a pickpocket working Times Square. Da'Shena Stevens was bothered by injury- she was noticeably slow getting up and down the floor, and her shots were way off to the right.
The offense was a little loosey-goosey, and I think the coach got a little frustrated with the way they weren't taking care of the ball. But I liked the defense. Defense is good.
The officiating was the usual combination of confusing and solid. I'd really like to see more of an emphasis on tripping in the women's game, though. Too many knee injuries for us not to be careful with that.
It was hard to really get into this game after the big run in the first half. After it was 7-6, things got rapidly out of hand, which was refreshing and much needed. Now the hard part begins...