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Perez, Smith pace St. John's women to big rout

St. John's Shenneika Smith drives past Duke's Ka'lia

St. John's Shenneika Smith drives past Duke's Ka'lia Johnson during the first half. (March 24, 2012) Credit: AP

Freshman Ashley Perez scored 22 points and Shenneika Smith 20 to help No. 14 St. John's rout Farmingdale, 99-24, Saturday in a women's basketball exhibition game at Carnesecca Arena.

The game marked the debut of new Red Storm coach Joe Tartamella, who took over the program when former coach Kim Barnes Arico left for the University of Michigan last spring.

St. John's raced out to a 50-12 halftime lead behind Perez -- from Manchester, Conn. -- and Smith, who also had 15 rebounds. Smith is a senior from Brooklyn.

The Red Storm will open the regular season against Texas on Friday in the WBI Tipoff Invitational in Daytona Beach, Fla.

Nikita Green scored 12 points to lead Farmingdale, a Division III school. Her three-pointer with 11:53 to play was the first basket of the second half for the Rams and made the score 77-15.

St. John's Associated Press ranking equals the program's highest in school history.

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