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St. John's women are dancing


STONY BROOK UNIVERSITY- NOVEMBER 15, 2009: St. John's Da'Shena Stevens (3) (22 Points) with the layup over Stony Brook's Dani Klupenger in the first half. St. Johns defeated Stony Brook 89-52. St. Johns University at Stony Brook University women's basketball. Photo Credit: Newsday/Photo by Joseph D. Sullivan

We knew for a couple of months the St. John's women would earn an at-large bid to the NCAA Tournament. It became official Monday night as the Red Storm earned a six seed and will face No.11 Princeton in a first-round game on Saturday in Tallahassee, Fl.

The game will be broadcast on ESPN2. Tip is set for approximately 12:21.

"It's been a great year for our kids," a jubilant Kim Barnes Arico said from the ESPN Zone on Monday.

St. John's (24-6, 12-4 Big East) posted several big wins, including over then-No.3 Notre Dame and a road win against Rutgers. It was the first time in 17 years the Red Storm beat the Scarlet Knights.

It is the second time in five years the Red Storm made the tournament. The last time came in 2006. Led by Kia Wright and Angela Clarke, the Storm advanced to the second round and lost to eventual national champion Maryland.

But there are some difference between the teams. The 2006 team had several seniors, including Greeba Barlow, Tara Walker and Danielle Chambers. Kia Wright returned the following season, but Clarke, a junior at the time, didn't return for her senionr season and the team struggled in 2007-2008.

This team has five freshman and two sophomores.

"I feel we're here to stay," Barnes Arico said. "We have a great group coming back."

As for its first-round opponent, the Red Storm isn't taking Princeton lightly.

"I already got a text from one of my old AAU teammates who plays for UCLA," sophomore forward Da'Shena Stevens said. "She said it won't be a walk in the park." 

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