Eugeneia McPherson scored 16 points and Nadirah McKenith had 15 to help St. John’s upset No. 14 Louisville 72-64 on Sunday.
Shenneika Smith added 11 points for the Red Storm (10-6, 2-1 Big East), who have won nine straight at home.
The game was a homecoming for Louisville freshman Bria Smith, who starred down the road at perennial power Christ the King H.S. She scored the Cardinals’ first seven points and finished with 17 before fouling out with 4:39 left.
Becky Burke scored 19 points to lead Louisville (13-3, 2-1), which had won its last six games.
Trailing 37-34 after Burke’s 3-pointer, St. John’s scored 14 of the next 20 points to take a 48-43 lead with 9:10 left. Da’Shena Stevens had five points during the run, including the final two free throws.
Louisville could only get within three points the rest of the game.
Neither team had more than a five-point lead for the first 30 minutes.
After St. John’s took a 48-43 lead, Louisville crept back within three, the Red Storm scored seven straight points, including a 3-pointer by Smith to seal the win.
Shoni Schimmel, Louisville’s leading scorer, had a rough day from the field, scoring just eight points on 4-of-18 shooting.
Stevens is still working her way back from an offseason injury to her left knee that forced the senior forward to miss the first 10 games of the season. Just when the Red Storm got her back, McKenith went down with a right knee injury. She missed three games.
The Red Storm have only had their projected starting lineup healthy for the last three games — all victories.
Louisville has its own injury issues. Junior Tia Gibbs was lost in the season opener to a shoulder injury and senior Monique Reid’s season ended just eight games in after hurting her left knee.
Even without them the Cardinals have put together a strong start to the season. Coach Jeff Walz’s team has already played 10 road games this season.