Having earned a spot in both basketball polls in recent weeks, there was just one more hill for the St. John's women's team to climb: beating a ranked team.
The Red Storm had gone 0-4 against ranked squads, with its most recent loss coming against of No. 1 Connecticut on Saturday.
The inability to beat elite teams changed last night as No. 22 St. John's upset fourth-ranked Notre Dame, 76-71, at Carnesecca Arena.
It was just the breakthrough Red Storm coach Kim Barnes Arico was looking for.
"It gives us a tremendous amount of confidence," Barnes Arico said. "We've never beaten an opponent ranked this high before."
St. John's (21-5, 9-4 Big East) got a big night from its two leading scorers.
Freshman Shenneika Smith led the Red Storm with 23 points and 10 rebounds and Da'Shena Stevens added 21 points and 11 rebounds.
"Da'Shena was tremendous," Barnes Arico said. "And so was Shenneika."
Notre Dame (23-2, 10-2) was led by Skylar Diggins with 20 points, but most of those came in the second half after the Red Storm built a 10-point lead.
"I thought we did a great job on defense. We held them to 36 percent shooting," Barnes Arico said. "Diggins really attacked us and got to the line in the second half, but we took control of the game a little before that."