Non-Conference Play Ends With OT Thriller At Carnesecca, St. John's Loses 60-59 To Delaware :: Four Red Storm players tally double-digit scoring efforts, rookie guard Aliyyah Handford leads squad with 16 points. Non-Conference Play Ends With OT Thriller At Carnesecca, St. John's Loses 60-59 To Delaware

Jan. 3, 2013

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QUEENS, N.Y. - With 28 seconds on the clock, St. John's rookie Aliyyah Handford made two free throws to give the Red Storm women's basketball team a one-point lead over visiting Delaware, but with the final possession and 0.7 seconds left, senior center Elena Delle Donne pulled up for a jumper that gave the Blue Hens a 60-59 win in overtime at Carnesecca Arena.

Senior guard Shenneika Smith attempted to get off a half court shot for the Red Storm on the inbound, but the buzzer sounded and the shot fell short.

With 1:39 left in the second period, St. John's led 51-49 after sophomore forward Amber Thompson made the first of two free throw attempts. With 20 seconds left, Delle Donne was fouled and she went to the line to make two more free throws, tying the game at 51 and sending it to overtime. Delle Donne was the game-high scorer with 29 points, 13-for-13 from the foul line.

With seconds ticking off the clock, St. John's had an opportunity under the basket to go ahead, but the shots would not fall.

In overtime, Delaware took the first lead, but Handford connected on two free throws to knot the game at 53 with 4:31 remaining.

From there, Delaware went on a 5-0 run, but St. John's came right back, making six-straight free throws to take the 59-58 lead with the 28 seconds left.

Handford went 6-for-10 from the free throw line, 4-for-4 during the overtime period. The rookie guard, who stepped into the starting lineup just six games ago, led St. John's in scoring with a career-best 16 points on 5-for-11 shooting from the field and added seven rebounds.

Along with Handford, three additional St. John's players (6-6) scored in double figures, while Delle Donne was the only double-digit scorer for Delaware (9-3). Smith added 14 points for St. John's, while senior guard Nadirah McKenith recorded 12 points and junior guard Briana Brown had 11. Sophomore forward Amber Thompson marked a team-best 11 rebounds for St. John's.

In the first half, St. John's took off to a 13-3 lead, capped off by a fast-break layup by McKenith through traffic. McKenith drew a foul on the shot and made the extra point.

Delaware came back and eventually tied the game at 18 with 8:22 left in the period. The Blue Hens led 27-21 with 1:34 on the clock, but a 3-pointer by Smith with three seconds on the board made it a 3-point game going into halftime.

In the second half, Delaware led by seven, 31-24, two minutes in, but St. John's came back with a 7-0 run as Smith tied the game at 31, scoring a jumper off an inbounded pass from McKenith after the first media timeout.

Neither team would have more than a four-point advantage for the rest of the game.

St. John's held Delaware to just six field goals in the second half.

Delle Donne had a double-double with 16 rebounds to go along with her 29 points. Danielle Parker had double-digit rebounds with 13.

Both teams had 48 rebounds.

Next up, BIG EAST play begins for St. John's as the Red Storm travels to Piscataway, N.J. to play the first of a home-and-home series against the Rutgers Scarlet Knights.

St. John's and Rutgers will tip off at 11:30 a.m. on Sunday, Jan. 6 at the Louis Brown Athletic Center. The game will be televised on ESPNU. St. John's will host Rutgers on Saturday, Feb. 23.