Sparked by a career-high 23 points from North Babylon graduate Eugeneia McPherson, 18th-ranked St. John’s appeared to have no problems handling Southern Mississippi in an 81-50 blowout at the Chartwells Holiday Classic at Carnesecca Arena yesterday afternoon.
Nothing to it, right? Wrong. Hawkeye Pierce, “Trapper” John McIntyre and Major Houhilan of legendary 4077 M.A.S.H. couldn’t have been prepared for the rash of bad fortune hit St. John’s in yesterday’s win.
Plagued by a rash of in-game injuries and foul trouble, host St. John’s was forced to play the final 2:13 with four players.
Adversity hit St. John’s early as junior forward Da’Shena Stevens (concussion) was helped off the court 2:47 into the contest and didn’t return. Senior center Coco Hart left the game at the 7:13 mark in the first half with a sprained ankle. She started the second half, but left after the first two minutes.
The bad fortune continued in the second half as sophomore guards Nadirah McKenith (thumb) and Shenneika Smith (ankle) and senior guard Sky Lindsay (ankle) left the game.
As if the Red Storm needed any more bad news, sophomore center Jennifer Blanding fouled out, forcing coach Kim Barnes Arico to play the final two-plus minutes with just four players.
Thanks to a tremendous amount of depth at guard, the Red Storm (10-1), winners of nine straight, had the game well in hand when the black cat crossed their path.