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Smith leads No. 14 St. John's women over UCF 72-54

AP - Sports

DAYTONA BEACH, Fla. (AP) -- Shenneika Smith scored 23 points and grabbed 12 rebounds as No. 14 St. John's bounced back from an opening-game loss to defeat Central Florida 72-54 Sunday.

Smith and Nadirah McKenith each had three baskets during a 17-0 run that gave the Red Storm (1-1) a 30-15 lead 1:05 before halftime.

Smith, a senior guard, missed St. John's loss to Texas on Friday night because of a one-game NCAA suspension for participating in a nonsanctioned game last summer.

St. John's led by 26 points with 8:43 remaining. Briahanna Jackson scored 10 of her 20 points during a 12-0 run for the Knights (0-2), but they got no closer than 12 points the rest of the way.

Joe Tartamella of St. John's earned his first head coaching victory in the teams' first meeting, but they'll be seeing a lot more of each other once UCF moves to the Big East next season.

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