Womhoops Guru

Mel Greenberg covered college and professional women’s basketball for the Philadelphia Inquirer, where he worked for 40 plus years. Greenberg pioneered national coverage of the game, including the original Top 25 women's college poll. His knowledge has earned him nicknames such as "The Guru" and "The Godfather," as well as induction into the Women's Basketball Hall of Fame in 2007.

Monday, December 23, 2013

Handford's Exploits Give St. John's Landmark Triumph

By Rob Knox

NEW YORK –
Like much of the afternoon -- for that matter, the entire season -- the ball found the hands of St. John’s sophomore guard Aliyyah Handford during the final five seconds of a tied game against 24th-ranked Texas A&M.

Handford took a pass from senior Eugeneia McPherson and took two steps to her right and then raced down the lane for a layup with 2.8 seconds remaining that proved to be the difference as the Red Storm edged the Aggies, 72-70, in a thrilling opening game of the Maggie Dixon Classic at Madison Square Garden Sunday afternoon. In the second game, top-ranked Connecticut crunched California, 80-47.

Her heroics additionally resulted in Handford being named Big East player of the week on Monday.

The Aggies had an opportunity to send the game into overtime, but the final shot bounced off the backboard and fell to the floor. In a game with more late drama than an episode of “Scandal”, Handford’s basket ended a wild final 45 seconds that featured a pair of ties at 68 and 70. With the win, St. John’s (6-4 overall) ended a three-game losing streak, defeated a SEC school for the first time since beating Kentucky, 74-64, in 1991 and improved its all-time record at MSG to 7-3 overall. It was also the first win for St. John’s in the Maggie Dixon Classic in three tries.

“We worked together as a team at the end of the game,” Handford said of the decisive basket. “Eugeneia did a great job handling the ball and running the clock down. We saw a play that we felt that would work. We tried it and it turned out good for us. We played as a team and once we stopped what they wanted to do, we played aggressively.”

Handford, a 5 foot, 9 inch guard, electrified the Garden with a special 27-point performance that has become the norm during a memorable sophomore season. For Handford this was certainly a Broadway-worth effort that left fans begging for a curtain call. Weaving her slim, athletic and strong frame through the Aggie defense for tough layups, Handford was 11-for-18 from the field. Handford took scoring chores into her hands early and often as she hit for eight of St. John’s first 10 points of the contest to help the Red Storm erase a quick 7-2 deficit.

Ultimately, Handford scored 18 of her points in the opening 20 minutes to help the Red Storm grab a 33-30 halftime lead. It was the fifth time this season Handford finished with at least 20 or more points and eighth time with at least 18 points.

“It feels good to get this win,” Handford said. “It’s a big win against a ranked team and we feel good about it. We just want to build off of this performance, keep growing as a team and get better with each game we play.”

Handford had plenty of help from McPherson, who playing in her third game this year, scored 14 points and registered a career-high seven assists. Twelve of those points were scored in the second half including a big 3-pointer that gave St. John’s a 64-60 advantage with 2:32 remaining as the shot clock buzzer sounded.

Texas A&M was led in scoring by Karla Gilbert’s 15 points. Courtney Williams battled foul trouble to finish with 14 points. Tori Scott also enjoyed an impactful performance for the Aggies with nine points and four steals.

After averaging 9.2 points last year as a freshman and being selected to the Big East All-Freshman team while learning the ropes from a senior-laden team that qualified for the NCAA tournament, Handford knew that she would be counted on entering this year for many things from scoring to leadership. She’s off to a terrific start as she’s an early candidate for the Big East Player of the Year award. Handford is developing into one of the elite guards in America. The scary part is she’s just getting warmed up.

This season, the 20.9 point per game scoring and 7.5 rebound per game average through 10 games has been a pleasant surprise for Handford, who is on pace to break Sue Bretthauer’s 38-year St. John’s school record of most points (510) scored by a sophomore. Handford has 209 points through 10 games. While that is a potentially sweet accomplishment, Handford is more pleased with the other facets of her game that have improved.

“I didn’t expect to score like this,” Handford said. “I am driving to the basket, being more aggressive and smarter this year. I am not doing things that would take me out the game and get me frustrated. This season, I have stayed focused and just continued to play through everything. Also, I have focused on helping my teammates out more.”


- Posted using BlogPress from my iPad

6 Comments:

Blogger ninest123 Ninest said...

ninest123 10.08
nike free, michael kors, christian louboutin, oakley sunglasses, nike outlet, nike air max, ray ban sunglasses, louis vuitton outlet online, uggs on sale, michael kors handbags, chanel handbags, burberry outlet, louis vuitton handbags, tory burch outlet, ray ban sunglasses, kate spade, uggs on sale, louboutin shoes, replica watches, tiffany jewelry, michael kors outlet online, cheap oakley sunglasses, longchamp outlet, ralph lauren polo, prada outlet, ray ban sunglasses, ralph lauren outlet, tiffany jewelry, christian louboutin, longchamp outlet, oakley sunglasses, burberry factory outlet, prada handbags, michael kors outlet, gucci handbags, louboutin uk, cheap jordans, replica watches, louis vuitton, oakley sunglasses, michael kors outlet store, oakley sunglasses, uggs on sale, uggs outlet, louis vuitton outlet, michael kors outlet online, nike air max, uggs outlet

2:42 AM  
Blogger ninest123 Ninest said...

converse, longchamp pas cher, nike air max, coach outlet store online, longchamp soldes, hogan sito ufficiale, new balance, coach purses, nike roshe uk, hollister uk, vans pas cher, nike air max pas cher, lunette oakley pas cher, michael kors outlet online, burberry pas cher, abercrombie and fitch UK, polo ralph lauren uk, vanessa bruno pas cher, mulberry uk, abercrombie and fitch, hermes pas cher, true religion jeans, michael kors, coach outlet, nike roshe run pas cher, michael kors uk, coach outlet, true religion outlet, lululemon outlet, nike air max uk, nike air max uk, ralph lauren pas cher, nike free, north face uk, polo lacoste pas cher, true religion outlet, nike air force, north face pas cher, nike free pas cher, kate spade outlet, nike tn pas cher, nike blazer pas cher, louboutin pas cher, timberland pas cher, true religion outlet, sac guess pas cher, jordan pas cher, ray ban uk, lunette ray ban pas cher

2:45 AM  
Blogger ninest123 Ninest said...

nike trainers uk, nike air max, lululemon outlet, nike roshe run, salvatore ferragamo, soccer shoes, ghd hair, beats by dre, new balance shoes, louboutin, nike air huarache, mcm handbags, softball bats, vans scarpe, polo ralph lauren, abercrombie and fitch, wedding dresses, babyliss pro, abercrombie, chi flat iron, converse shoes outlet, hollister clothing, herve leger, instyler ionic styler, p90x workout, ray ban, oakley, converse, mac cosmetics, hollister, longchamp uk, jimmy choo outlet, valentino shoes, iphone cases, north face outlet, bottega veneta, soccer jerseys, hermes handbags, vans outlet, giuseppe zanotti, asics running shoes, nfl jerseys, reebok outlet, gucci, celine handbags, mont blanc, insanity workout, nike air max, north face outlet, timberland boots, michael kors, longchamp bags

2:49 AM  
Blogger ninest123 Ninest said...

canada goose jackets, ugg uk, toms shoes, swarovski jewelry, barbour jackets uk, doke & gabbana, moncler pas cher, moncler jackets, moncler, montre pas cher, ugg,uggs,uggs canada, canada goose outlet, links of london uk, moncler outlet, pandora charms, canada goose uk, moncler uk, michael kors outlet, pandora uk, louis vuitton, marc jacobs, ugg,ugg australia,ugg italia, pandora jewelry, canada goose jackets, ugg pas cher, moncler, thomas sabo uk, juicy couture outlet, canada goose, barbour, canada goose pas cher, karen millen uk, hollister, michael kors outlet online, sac louis vuitton, michael kors handbags, wedding dresses uk, sac louis vuitton, coach outlet, louis vuitton, bottes ugg pas cher, juicy couture outlet, swarovski uk, moncler, canada goose, pandora jewelry, louis vuitton uk, lancel, replica watches, canada goose outlet, moncler
ninest123 10.08

2:51 AM  
Blogger mmjiaxin said...

canada goose outlet
ugg boots on sale
abercrombie and fitch
celine outlet
louis vuitton bags
canada goose outelt
snow boots
nike air huarache
swarovski crystal
michael kors outlet
ray ban outlet
minnesota vikings
coach outlet store
cheap jordans
green bay packers
herve leger dresses
kobe bryants shoes
salomon shoes
swarovski outlet
coach outlet
mm1125

10:41 PM  
Blogger mmjiaxin said...

mulberry uk
michael kors outlet online
canada goose outlet
coach outlet online
air max 2014
ugg outlet online
celine outlet
phone cases
hollister clothing store
cheap ray ban sunglasses
kate spade outlet
nhl jerseys
ferragamo outlet
hollister canada
true religion jeans
ugg outlet
cheap football shirts
swarovski outlet
oakley sunglasses canada
christian louboutin shoes
mm1225

10:25 PM  

Post a Comment

<< Home