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Dynamic Duo Wins the Day for St. John's

Just The Facts, Ma'am: Tough defense by the Red Storm gave St. John's a 54-34 win over the Wagner Seahawks. Shenneika Smith led all scorers with 16 points and added seven boards and four steals, while Nadirah McKenith put in 15 points to go with seven rebounds and five steals. Marie-Laurence Archambault led Wagner with nine points on three 3-pointers.

For rain, kvetching, nifty passes, and the scenic tour of central Queens, join your intrepid and financially imprudent blogger after the jump.

Dear St. John's: enough with the double-headers. Please. Especially when the brilliant plan involves pairing a lousy opponent for the women with a lousy opponent for the men (Wagner and St. Francis NY respectively). You can't predict the rain, but that didn't help things, either; walk-up sales had to have been pretty low, because something that was set up looking like separate ticketing ended up being a one-ticket, "sure, sit wherever until someone with the ticket shows up" affair.

We opted not to stay, because I am a somewhat responsible blogger, it's raining, and I needed to try to find a cookbook. (By the way, if you happen to own My First Baking Book by Rena Coyle, hit me up.) That, and to be honest, I don't particularly care about men's basketball. Apologies to the folks over at Rumble in the Garden.

I'm still not quite over missing the very start of the game because, hello, I work until 5:30 and it normally takes me an hour and a half to get to St. John's, and no, I couldn't leave early because I left early to go to the Hofstra game. I ended up paying $30 for a cab to get there just after tip, but I shouldn't have to do that to see the damn game on time!

To be honest, I don't remember much about the Wagner bench. Kanifa Hicks got the bulk of the minutes, and I think I remember yelling at her for some rough play. They've got a freshman center who came in late, Ugo Nwaigwe, who's tall but didn't impress. Shawn-Marie Heiliger played a lot off the bench too. I think she was their point guard.

Marie-Laurence Archambault not only has a long name, but a long shot. Her threes were the most reliable offense the Seahawks were able to find all night. Kelly Clark did a nice job of at least trying to get in on the boards... she just wasn't all that successful in grabbing the boards. Jacqui Thompson has gorgeous eyes, and doesn't run a bad offense, but her team just can't shoot straight. Chanez Robinson got a little physical, but didn't really make an impression otherwise.

Wagner, I'm very sorry that I couldn't come up with more to say about you. When you stop being easily disconcerted and start hitting shots, perhaps I will say more about you.

Hi, Mallory Jones! Welcome to Division I basketball! Please enjoy your stay! Work on that three, because all gods know we need a three-point shooter with some consistency, and tone up that stocky build, but I love the willingness to take contact. Zakiyyah Shahid-Martin brought her usual combination of hustle and boneheaded plays. The poor kid wanted to score so badly it was almost sad how her teammates ignored her when she was calling for the ball. Briana Brown at least played decent on-ball defense, but I'm starting to wonder about her range. It seems fairly narrow. Jennifer Blanding played well off the bench, which was a relief. She bodied up well and hit the floor for loose balls. Tesia Harris couldn't hit the broad side of a barn, but strangely enough, I didn't mind. Keylantra Langley's still putting too much spin on her shots, but I love her defense. Just don't commit stupid fouls, okay, Key?

Nadirah McKenith has turned it up. She knows that we need her to score with Da'Shena Stevens out, and she has answered. She's still finding her teammates, and I think she's about two assists per game under what she would be if her teammates could hit the easy shots she gives them. The through-the-opponent's-legs pass to a three on the wing that was missed comes to mind. Mary Nwachukwu needs to toughen up and go after rebounds and loose balls. My patience with her softness grows short. I continue to love Amber Thompson's rebounding ability; I think the offense will develop in time, but you can't teach those instincts. Eugeneia McPherson needs to stop talking to the refs. It's not going to get her calls, and it's not going to help. She's trying too hard to get the contact, and I think it's messing with her head. Shot of the game goes to Shenneika Smith and that nifty right hook she threw into the basket. She had a very nice game. Not feeling the hair, though.

My heart melted with squee and love for my team when I spotted a few of our former players tending to the young Aricos during the game. (Sky Lindsay is the reason we're finally getting off our tushes and going to Queens College games, and I spent the better part of four years going on about Joy McCorvey, whose #25 I wear with pride.) Stupid hormones. Stupid Our Girls Syndrome.

Um, not for nothing, but I'm fairly certain that if a player is tiptoeing along the line and is jostled out of bounds, it's a push-out, not an out-of-bounds turnover. I'd also like to see refs be a little more careful about lower body fouls. There are enough studies out there that remind us all about the increased susceptibility women's knees have to torn ACLs and other not fun things.

Many thanks to the concession folks who let us take home the bottle caps. Coke Rewards make me a happy Scribbler. (Now, if they'd just restock the good stuff...)

This is going to sound shallow, and it's the kind of thing I notice because my dad works with fabric a lot, but the ribbons for Oklahoma State are beautiful- I don't know if they're two-sided, or two-tone, or what, but they're very well done.

I don't know how much we learned about this team from playing Wagner. I do know that I'm probably not going to haul out to Staten Island and see Wagner in their home arena the way I've been saying I will for the last couple of years. They're the only New York City team I haven't visited, and I keep meaning to, but it's such a haul out to Staten Island, and Wagner has just been so awful...