Red Storm Remains Undefeated with 68-62 Victory over Purdue
With the win over the Boilermakers, St. John's remains undefeated and improves to 3-0 for the second-straight season. The Red Storm's starters fueled the fire in the team's Thanksgiving victory as four of the Johnnies finished in double figures. Curteeona Brelove, Alisha Kebbe, Tiana England and Akina Wellere all recorded 14 points for the Red Storm. Starting guard, Qadashah Hoppie finished the game with a solid seven points, including a crucial three-pointer in the final seconds to help lift the Johnnies to victory. As a team, the Red Storm shot 48.3 percent (28-of-58) from the floor for the Red Storm's best shooting effort of the season, draining 6-of-14 from three-point range. Brelove had her best performance of the year, notching 14 points and 10 rebounds for her first-ever double-double in a St. Johns uniform. The Malone, Fla., native was 7-of-11 from the floor and added a steal to her name on the stat sheet. Purdue jumped out to an early lead after winning the tip and scoring on the team's first possession. However, the Johnnies wasted no time on the response as England drained a shot from deep to give St. John's a one-point advantage, 3-2. Shortly after, the Red Storm rattled off a 7-0 run over the next three minutes to lead, 10-4, at the midway mark in the opening stanza. Coming out of timeout the Boilermakers went on a 5-0 tear to pull the game within two until Jasmine Sina snapped Purdue's streak with a shot from downtown. With seconds remaining in the first frame, the Boilermakers drained back-to-back shots to knot the game at 15 before a Wellere jumper help St. John's wrap up the first 10 minutes with a 17-15 advantage. In the second quarter Purdue continued to bring pressure but the Johnnies never lost sight of the lead, as the two teams traded off buckets throughout the quarter. St. John's converted at a 46.8 percent clip from the field in the opening 20 minutes to enter the half with a 33-27 edge. Coming out of the intermission, Purdue scored the first points before Hoppie and Brelove hit back-to-back shots to hold on to the lead. The Boilermakers pulled the score within two, 40-42, with just under five minutes to play in the third quarter. With the team's lead hanging in the balance, the Johnnies continued to put up a valiant effort, as Kebbe capped off the third frame with a jump shot to keep the Johnnies ahead, 53-45, entering the final quarter. After taking its largest lead of the game, 58-48, with 7:17 to go, the Boilermakers whittled the St. John's advantage down to three in the final seconds. After a quiet offensive first half for Hoppie, the Staten Island native made one of the most crucial plays of the night. With the clock winding down and just under 40 seconds to play Hoppie drained a shot from downtown to extend the Johnnies lead to, 63-57. Less than 10 seconds later the Johnnies defense came up clutch with a crucial turnover to give the Red Storm possession and ultimately lift the Johnnies to victory. St. John's will return to action tomorrow when the team faces its toughest test of the season in a showdown with No. 2 ranked UConn at 7:30 ET p.m. The Huskies and the Johnnies share a lengthy history, as this is the 58th all-time meeting between the two programs dating back to 1978. UConn holds a 40-17 record over St. John's, winning the most recent contest, 70-54, in 2015.