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WBB: Strong conference start for locals

Hofstra forward Shante Evans moves to get past

Hofstra forward Shante Evans moves to get past Harvard forward Emma Golen. (March 15, 2012) (Credit: Kathleen Malone-Van Dyke)

The conference season is officially underway for the local women’s Division I teams. Early returns have been positive for Hofstra, St. John’s and Stony Brook.

Hofstra: The Pride has won four straight since beginning the season 1-7. The latest was a 56-53 triumph over William & Mary on Sunday. Shante Evans had 11 points and 12 rebounds and is just 21 points away from setting Hofstra’s all-time scoring record. Evans has 1,820 points. Dia Lebella (178-1982) has the mark with 1,840 points. Next up for Hofstra (5-7, 1-0 CAA) is a home contest versus Georgia State on Thursday.

Winning in the CAA wont’ be easy for Hofstra, but the Pride’s tough non-conference schedule should have it primed and ready or a deep run.

St. John’s: If ever St. John’s needed a win, it was Sunday at Rutgers. Fresh off a gut-wrenching, 60-59, home loss to Delaware, the Red Storm (7-6, 1-0 Big East) rebounded with a 48-44 win at Rutgers. St. John’s has beaten Rutgers five straight times. It was an important win for the Red Storm, which hosts Seton Hall on Saturday at Madison Square Garden. It’s a winnable game for St. John’s, which would get a huge confidence boost with a 2-0 start in the Big East.

“This is a great win for us, especially on the road,” said Red Storm coach Joe Tartamella. “Any conference win, as we have talked about as a team, is very difficult and so important.”

Stony Brook: The Seawolves (9-6, 1-1 America East) are off to their best start since the 2005-2006 season when they started 10-5. Beth O’Boyle’s crew edged New Hampshire, 48-44, on Saturday to even its conference record at 1-1. This could potentially be the breakout season O’Boyle is looking for. With a struggling Binghamton squad coming to Pritchard Gymnasium on Wednesday, there’s no reason to think the Seawolves can’t get to 2-1. Binghamton is 2-13 and has lost five of six.

The Seawolves have gotten great efforts offensively from Sabre Proctor, Jessica Previlon and Chikilra Goodman. Goodman had 18 points against New Hampshire. Teasha Harris had a recent four-game stretch where she scored in double figures.