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Women's basketball flies to victory over Red Storm in home opener

By Joe Pantorno, Sports Editor

 

Try not to get whiplash watching this team. Taking in just five minutes of the Hofstra University women's basketball team's 93-82 victory last Friday over St. John's, one can conclude two things. First, that this team has some very special skill, the second, hence the whiplash is that they might be one of the fastest teams in the nation.

"It was like getting punched in the face trying to keep up with them," said St. John's head coach Kim Barnes Arico.

"This is just a great win for these ladies on their home court," said head coach Krista Kilburn-Steveskey. "This is a very strong St. John's team and I'm really proud of them."

Sophomore guard Katelyn Loper led all scorers with 29 points as she mixed her stellar three-point shooting with her new and improved inside game, making aggressive drives to the basket when given the room by St. John's defenders.

"I think it's more of a confidence thing," said Loper. "I have to stay with it. I can make baskets but why not try going to the basket? When I attack the basket, things open up."

After a tough two games in the scoring column, junior forward Shante Evans returned to the Mack in style with 27 points and 14 rebounds. Using her strength and receiving some impressive passes from the likes of senior guard Candice Bellocchio, Evans found a lot of success under the basket, finding a way to score no matter how many defenders were on her.

"It was really the guards penetrating and the St. John's defenders collapsed on them," said Evans. "That gave me open looks and I just finished them."

Bellocchio was not only was helping with the assists, but the guard also recorded her first double-double of the season with 12 points to compliment her 12 assists.

"I think she did a great job responding tonight coming back from the trip out west," said Kilburn-Steveskey. "I'm really proud of her."

Hofstra leaped out of the gates early opening up an eight point advantage less than seven minutes into the game, but could not find a way to put St. John's away early. As the half progressed, play got sloppier, allowing the Red Storm to stay in the game, cutting the Pride advantage to 45-44 going into halftime.

Consistent play and along with a blazing pace proved too much for the visiting side as Hofstra utilized a 10-0 run that started with five and a half minutes left in the game to cruise to the 11 point victory. Through its first three games, Hofstra is averaging just under 91 points per game.

"This offense is made for us to score a lot," said Evans. "Eventually, no team is going to want to run with us and that's why we are putting up so many points."

After coming home from a long road trip in Washington, it was nice to be home before another long road trip to Cancun for Thanksgiving weekend.

"It was great, we had a long road first," said Evans. "We're just happy to be back home."

"The fans were really great," said Loper. "The fans really got us going and to have everyone there was really amazing."

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