Handford Sparks Red Storm To Semifinal Berth

Aliyyah Handford, St. John's

Aliyyah Handford, St. John's

March 9, 2014

Box Score

St. John's 66, Seton Hall 60 Get Acrobat Reader

Postgame Quotes

Postgame Press Conference: St. John's | Seton Hall

ROSEMONT, Ill. - Guard Aliyyah Handford scored a game-high 24 points to lead No. 2 seed St. John's to a 66-60 BIG EAST Tournament Quarterfinals victory over seventh-seeded Seton Hall on Sunday at Allstate Arena.

The victory was the second straight for the Red Storm (21-9) who locked down the decision in the final 20 seconds with two free throws apiece from Handford and Briana Brown, who scored 15 points.

Guard Danaejah Grant added 10 points while forward Amber Thompson collected 10 rebounds as St. John's earned a Semifinals berth with No. 3 Creighton or No. 6 Butler in Monday's semifinals.

Guards Alexis Brown and Ka-Deidre Simmons each had 16 points for Seton Hall (18-13).

A see-saw opening half featured eight lead changes and seven ties before St. John's guard Aaliyah Lewis hit the front end of a one-and bonus with 3.1 seconds showing to give the Red Storm a 27-26 halftime lead.

St. John's Handford led all scorers with 12 points through 20 minutes while Seton Hall's Brown had eight.

The Red Storm maintained the advantage through the second half and even moved out to a game-high 10-point at 52-42 lead on guard Keylantra Langley's 3 pointer with 10:13 to play.

But the Pirates didn't fold. Less than six minutes later they had trimmed the deficit to 58-54 and Brown's long jumper with 4:21 left made it a two-point game at 58-56.

But Seton Hall couldn't overtake St. John's, which maintained its slight edge the rest of the way.

The Pirates had five players score in double figures on Saturday to advance with an 88-79 victory over Providence. The second place Red Storm, who broke a four-game losing streak with a win over Providence in last week's regular-season finale, earned a first-round tournament bye.

--Jack McCarthy