You can fault St. John's for coming up a little short in a 66-60 loss to No.18 Maryland at the Terrapins Classic on Wednesday, but you can't fault the effort.
The 17th-ranked Red Storm (12-2) had an 11-game winning streak halted. But in no way should this be an indictment.
Maryland led by as many as 18, 58-40, in the second half, but St. John's came roaring back with a 13-2 run and trailed by seven with two minutes left.
"We ran out of gas a little bit, but I was proud of the way, after they got a pretty big lead on us, we were able to fight back and battle to the end," coach Kim Barnes Arico said.
North Babylon graduate Eugeneia McPherson led St. John's with a career-high 25 points. Da' Shena Stevens added 15 points and seven rebounds and was named to the all-tournament team.
There were several positives to take from the game. St. John's overcame a size differential in the paint and outrebounded the Terrapins, 37-35. Then there was McPherson getting 25 points. It was the third time she's scored 20 or more points this season.
The Red Storm played the entire second half without point guard Nadirah McKenith, who left the game with an ankle injury. McKenith had been battling a thumb injury this season.
"They took advantage of us at times and I think we got banged up when we lost our point guard, who I think is one of the best point guards in the country," Barnes Arico said. "I think that hurt us a lot."