The Red Storm had a monumental season, making the NCAA’s Sweet 16 for the first time in school history, rebounding from a 5-5 start and playing the first 10 games without star-senior forward Da’Shena Stevens.
En route to the Regional Semifinals, the Red Storm upset a ranked opponent six times, four of which were road games.
Stevens played her last collegiate game in Fresno, leading the Red Storm with 19 points. She became one of St. John’s top five all-time scorers as she finished her career with 1,515 points. She surpassed her former teammate Monique McLean (2005-09), who had previously held the No. 5 spot with 1,502 points.
Stevens’ 19-point effort tied for her second-best scoring performance of the season. She also added five assists in her senior send off.
Junior guard Nadirah McKenith had a near double-double with 11 rebounds, eight assists.
“We had a tough game tonight and Duke is an excellent basketball program,” said head coach Kim Barnes Arico. “They played exceptionally well tonight and they forced us into a lot of turnovers which caused some easy baskets for them and took us out of our game.
We came out of the gates great, but they really switched their defense and that really gave us some problems. I wish Duke luck in moving forward.”
Barnes Arico capped off her monumental 10th year with St. John’s with the program’s first-ever trip to the Sweet 16. In mid-February she became the program’s all-time winningest coach and followed that up with a headline-grabbing, streak-ending upset over Connecticut.
This was Barnes Arico’s fourth trip to the Big Dance with St. John’s and her fifth 20-win season.
“It’s been the best season for our program in its history,” she said. “It’s tough, if you don’t win the championship, you end on a losing note and I was hoping we would perform a little better.”
Stevens finished her illustrious career in six of St. John’s top five record lists. In addition to being fifth all-time in scoring, she is No. 3 in rebounds (815), No. 4 in field goals made (579), No. 2 in free throws (354) and No. 5 in field goal attempts (1,305).
She also is the career leader in free throw attempts (623). She had her best year at the free throw line in 2011-12 as she shot 71 percent.
Over Stevens’ four-year career, the Red Storm boasted a 90-43 record with four-straight postseason berths that included three NCAA Tournaments and a WNIT Quarterfinal.
Saturday night’s game was also the final one for senior-transfer Tesia Harris. Harris scored four points against Duke to finish with 1,016 points for her career. Harris transferred to St. John’s after playing three seasons at Delaware, also a 2012 NCAA Tournament team, where she accumulated 942 points.