No. 4 UConn can't overcome slow start in 69-64 loss to St. John's
HARTFORD, Conn. (AP) — Danielle Patterson and Kadaja Bailey each scored 20 points and St. John’s beat No. 4 UConn 69-64 in Hartford on Tuesday night.
Jayla Everett added 17 points for St. John’s (20-7, 11-7 Big East), which added a huge win to its NCAA Tournament resume, beating UConn for the first time in 11 years.
Lou Lopez Senechal scored 18 points while Dorka Juhasz and Aaliyah Edwards each had 14 for UConn (24-5, 16-2), which was looking to secure a share of its 29th regular-season conference title.
St. John’s led the game for more than 28 minutes and by as much as nine points in the first half.
UConn had a chance to tie it late, but Caroline Ducharme missed her short jumper badly and Jayla Everett hit a baseline jumper to extend the lead to four points.
UConn was then forced to foul and Bailey hit four key free throws down the stretch to secure the win.
St. John’s held UConn to 35.5 percent shooting and outrebounded the Huskies 42-37.
The Red Storm led 35-30 at the half.
But Nika Muhl’s 3-pointer to open the third quarter triggered an 13-0 run, giving the Huskies a 43-35 lead, their first advantage since it was 7-5 in the first quarter.
A foul on an offensive rebound and a subsequent technical foul on Aaliyah Edwards after the call, led to a 4-point possession for St. John’s, which tied the game at 43.
A conventional 3-point play by Jayla Everett gave St. John’s a 51-48 lead heading into the fourth and they pushed the lead to six points with six minutes to play.
UConn won the first meeting between the two teams by 30 points in January,
St. John’s: The Red Storm extended their lead to a game over Seton Hall for the fifth seed in the conference tournament. The top five seeds receive a first-round bye. St. John’s last beat UConn on Feb. 18, 2012 ending the Huskies 99-game home winning streak.
UConn: The Huskies are still without star Azzi Fudd, who re-injured her right knee a game after returning from injury and scoring 14 points in the Huskies meeting with St. John’s in January. Fudd, who has missed a total of 20 games this season, is hoping to return in time to help UConn make a run next month at a 12th national title. ... UConn needs one win in its final two games to secure the top seed in the conference tournament.
St. Johns: The Red Storm return to Queens for their final regular-season home game on Friday night against Georgetown.
UConn: The Huskies travel to Chicago for a game Saturday at DePaul.