STJ Sports Round-Up

Aloooha ladies and gents,

As we close out our time on the blog, here’s at least one more sports round up. Let’s see what we have this week:

Men’s Basketball: The Johnnies are heading out tonight against NJIT, looking to grab a fifth straight win and prolong a perfect record in renovated Carnessecca Arena. NJIT stands at a lowly 0-7 coming into the Arena tonight, but remember this is college basketball. If the Johnnies can get enough student support and play as they have been, they should be able to send NJIT out of here with an 0-8 record.

Women’s Basketball: The women’s team staved off a late-in-the-game rally from Monmouth last Wednesay (Dec. 3) to ensure a 52-48 home win. Senior Monique McClean scored four clutch points in the final 20 seconds to boost the Red Storm’s record to 7-0. But it was Da’Shena Stevens who led the Storm overall with 16 points, her fifth double-digit game on the season. However, Saturday Dec. 6 saw the fall of the team’s perfect record when they faced off against No. 10 ranked Baylor, 75-65.

Commentary: Now, it has been easy to find some joy in Red Storm wins. Both the men’s and women’s team have good records (6-1 and 7-1, respectively), but one has to take into consideration the teams they have played. Howard, LIU, St. Francis, Darthmouth, Manhattan, Stony Brook and so on. It isn’t hard to tell these aren’t exactly Triple-A teams.

As soon as the Storm squared off against more well-regarded opponents, Boston College (men) and No. 10 Baylor (women), they folded. And they folded by double digits, no less. The schedules aren’t going to be giving either team anything easier than what they’ve seen. Look at any college basketball coverage and you’ll see that the Big East is a tough place to be in. In a matter of weeks, the men’s team will have to find a way to stop Notre Dame’s Luke Harangody, Pitt’s Sam Young and a number of other hot players around the Big East. And as of now, the Big East houses eight of the Top 25 teams in the nation. The women’s team won’t have it much easier, with five Big East teams in the Top 25, including No. 1 UConn.

This could very well be the end of the Red Storm’s joy ride. Sure, there’s always a little hope, but if the past few years have taught us anything, it’s that we should invest more in volleyball and men’s soccer.

Women’s Track & Field: Perhaps you’ve noticed, but it’s a little cold outside. Cold as in if you go outside without a jacket you’re either super tough or you lost a bet. So because it’s cold out, women’s track have taken things inside. And all the better! Our women’s track & field team walked away from the Fordham Invitational on Friday with six event wins. The wins kicked off the 2008-2009 indoor season. Three students also secured places for the Big East Championships coming up in mid-February: junior Fayanne Francis for long jump, sophomore Priscilla Frederick for high jump and senior Marie Griffiths for the 60-meter dash.

Men’s soccer: The best for last in this post. If you haven’t been paying attention, the men’s soccer team has been advancing through the NCAA playoffs. This past Saturday (Dec. 6) saw the team go into overtime to send Indiana packing, winning the game 3-2. Junior Nelson Becerra converted the game-winning penalty kick to send the Storm to the 2008 College Cup. He was helped with clutch performances by Joel Gustafsson and Sverre Wegge Gundhus, who each scored a goal in the final 10 minutes of regulation to send the match into overtime. The Storm’s last visit to the College Cup was in 2003, with previous appearances in 2001 and 1996. The 1996 team won the National Championship that year.

And there you have it.

-Alex Quevedo

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