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St. John's Edged by Providence in Overtime, 67-66

After forcing overtime with a three-pointer in the waning seconds of regulation, the St. John's women's basketball team came up just short in the extra period, as a Providence free throw with less than a second to go put the Friars ahead for good, 67-66, on Friday afternoon. In front of a sold-out crowd at Carnesecca Arena and the score knotted at 66, St. John's appeared to come up with a crucial stop and force a second overtime. Instead Akina Wellere was called for a foul on the rebound, giving the Friars' Maddie Jolin two chances to put her team ahead with less than a second to go. She missed the first, but made the second to cement the victory for Providence (10-7, 2-3 BE). As part of the Red Storm's annual field trip day, the Johnnies welcomed over 5,000 students to Carnesecca Arena for the team's BIG EAST home opener. Alisha Kebbe paced the Red Storm with a team-high 16 points. The Philadelphia native drained four of her nine tries from beyond the arc, including that clutch triple with four seconds left in regulation to send the Johnnies into their first overtime contest of the season. Curteeona Brelove recorded her third double-double of the year with 15 points and 13 boards, while Qadashah Hoppie was the third Red Storm player to record double-figures, recording 14 points to go along with a trio of assists. St. John's outscored Providence in the paint, 34-28, while also winning the battle of the boards, 38-34, for the ninth time this season. The two teams traded buckets in the opening minutes before the Friars used a 6-0 run to pull ahead by seven, 12-5, with less than five minutes to play in the opening quarter. With under two minutes to play in the opening stanza and the Friars leading 16-12, the Johnnies fired off an 8-2 run to knot the game at 18 after the first 10 minutes of action. The Red Storm was nearly perfect from the floor in the final minutes of the first quarter, draining five of their six shot attempts. Overall, the Johnnies shot 61.5 (8-of-13) percent from the field in the opening stanza. Feeding off the energy from a sold-out crowd inside Carnesecca Arena, the Johnnies rattled off a 6-0 run in the opening minutes of the second quarter to take over the lead, 24-18. Providence needed just two triples and a free throw to make a 7-0 spurt of their own and reclaim the lead, 25-24, near the midway mark of the period. The Johnnies then outscored Providence, 8-6, the rest of the way to take a one-point lead, 32-31, into the intermission. Heading into the locker room, Brelove paced the Red Storm with a game-high 11 points, having drained five of her six tries for the floor. The Johnnies continued their offensive surge after the break and coupled it with a tenacious defensive effort. Holding Providence scoreless for the first 6:51 of the second half, St. John's rattled off an 11-0 run to take its largest lead of the game, 42-31, with 4:16 to go in the stanza. Leading by six, 48-42, entering the final stanza, St. John's saw Providence begin the fourth on a 9-0 run, jumping ahead by three, 51-48, with four and a half to play in regulation. With the clock winding down and Providence leading by three, 57-54, Kebbe made a matrix move to free herself and bank in a corner three, sending the crowd into frenzy and the game into overtime. The teams traded buckets in the early going of extra time, as the Friars led by three, 66-63, with just 18 seconds left on the clock. With the Red Storm in need of a triple to tie, Providence's Jovana Nogic fouled Wellere on a three-point try. The senior from Chicago, a career 74 percent free throw shooter, stepped to the charity stripe and nonchalantly nailed all three chances to pull the Red Storm even. St. John's appeared to come up with a game-extending stop on the next possession, but a Red Storm foul gave Providence the game-winning free throw with less than a second to play. St. John's will have quick turnaround as the team returns to Carnesecca Arena for a Sunday showdown with Creighton. Tip-off is scheduled for 2 p.m. and will be live streamed on BIG EAST Digital Network (BEDN).

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