Powered by its third stellar defensive effort in as many games, the Red Storm captured the program’s fourth conference title with a 50-37 victory over Creighton.
“This is a thing that doesn't go away, it's for all time,” said Coach Joe Tartamella after the game. “It bonds us, and we're very excited to represent the Big East as the postseason champ as we move into the NCAA Tournament.”
St. John’s, which last won a conference crown in 1988, has punched its ticket to the NCAA Tournament for the 10th time in program history and the sixth time in the last seven years. Overall, the Red Storm has now earned bids to a postseason tournament in nine-consecutive campaigns.
Aliyyah Handford was named the tournament’s Most Outstanding Player, averaging 18.7 points, 5.0 rebounds, 3.3 steals and 3.0 assisters per outing. Against the Bluejays, the program’s all-time leading scorer tallied 11 points, four rebounds, three assists and a pair of steals.
St. John’s put up its best defensive effort of the season in the conference final, limiting the Bluejays to just 24.5 percent shooting from the field. Creighton also converted on just two of their 15 attempts from beyond the arc.
Taking into account exceptional fourth-quarter efforts against DePaul and Georgetown, the Johnnies outscored their opponents 71-35 in the final 10 minutes of the game during the 2016 Big East Tournament.
St. John’s will learn its destination for the opening round of the NCAA Tournament on Monday, March 14.