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SJU Women's Basketball Beats Buzzer—and USC—in NCAA Opener

Sunday, March 23, 2014

In the opening round of their fifth-straight NCAA Tournament, St. John’s University’s women’s basketball team beat the University of Southern California (USC) 71–68 on Saturday, March 22, when senior guard Briana Brown made a three-pointer just before the buzzer sounded.

Brown made the decisive basket—her first of the night—with four-tenths of a second remaining during the NCAA women’s championship opener at the University of Tennessee. “I knew I hadn’t made a shot the whole game,” she said, “but my teammates [kept] saying, ‘you’re going to make the next one.’ It happened to be the big one.”

Brown’s shot broke a 68–68 tie with the ninth-seeded Trojans. The No. 8 seed Red Storm had battled back from an 11-point deficit in the first half. Head coach Joe Tartamella, who called a timeout with 25 seconds remaining, said, “We wanted to make sure we took the final shot.”

St. John’s is one of two BIG EAST teams to receive bids to the 2014 NCAA Tournament, along with DePaul University. This marks the Red Storm’s ninth appearance in the NCAA Tournament; the team first competed in 1983.

St. John’s now plays the No. 1 seed University of Tennessee at 9 p.m. on Monday, March 24, in Knoxville, TN, for the right to advance to the Sweet 16.