UNC women to face St. John’s, familiar star in Pitt transfer Jayla Everett

By R.L. Bynum

If the St. John’s 66–64 First Four victory Thursday night over Purdue is any indication, Carolina will have to play excellent perimeter defense to beat the Red Storm, which features a familiar star.

St. John’s (23–8) earned the right to face the No. 20 Tar Heels (21-10) in a 4 p.m. first-round game Saturday (ESPN) at the Schottenstein Center in Columbus, Ohio, with a victory in the same arena by scoring an NCAA tournament school record 11 3-pointers.

Carolina arrived in Columbus on Wednesday and got in a 90-minute practice.

Fifth-year Pittsburgh transfer guard Jayla Everett (top photo) scored a team-high 20 points, including a driving shot with 0.3 of a second left to win it. Her jumper with 1:30 left ended a nearly five-minute fourth-quarter St. John’s scoring drought after Purdue rallied to tie it with a 15–2 run.

St. John’s made 8 of 14 3-point attempts in the first half and finished 11 of 23.

“Just so proud of this group,” St. John’s coach Joe Tartamella said, sitting next to Everett and senior guard Unique Drake. “I can’t put into words what both of these kids next to me on my left and right have meant to the program in different ways, the joy that I got to see in that locker room. Obviously, we have another game coming up. But this was a big piece to obviously validating a lot of things that they believed in all year and probably started back in June.”

The Red Storm has several good perimeter shooters, but Everett is at the top of the scouting report. She leads the team in scoring at 15.8 points per game and is 15th in the country in 3-point shooting percentage at 42.4%.


Everett led Pittsburgh in scoring the last two seasons, averaging 13.6 points last season and 15.4 points in her junior season. She lost both meetings with UNC, scoring 22 points on Jan. 14, 2021, in an 81–72 home loss and 18 points on Feb. 10, 2022, in a 64–54 defeat in Chapel Hill.

“You play back-to-back here, but at least you get a day [off],” Tartamella said. “For me, my philosophy has always been to worry about what’s ahead of us but certainly be prepared for what’s up next. So, we will do that and do everything we can to prepare our team and be ready to play on Saturday.”

St. John’s finished fourth in the Big East at 13–7 and split a pair of games with No. 6 UConn, winning in Hartford, Conn., 69–64 on Feb. 21. It also won at home 66–62 Dec. 4 against currently unranked Creighton, which was No. 13 at the time.

Two other excellent shooters are 6–0 redshirt senior guard Kadaja Bailey (37.3% 3-point shooting percentage) and Drake (35.8%), who came off the bench to score 16 points and four 3-pointers against Purdue (19–11).

St. John’s is in the NCAA tournament for the 11th time in school history but for the first time in seven years.

St. John’s, which had no common opponents with Carolina, took a four-point lead with an 8–0 second-quarter run and never trailed after that, leading 39–33 at halftime. The Red Storm started the second half with a 10–2 run and led by 15 points late in the third quarter.

A 15–2 Purdue run tied it with 3:10 left in a Lasha Petree jumper. An Everett jumper put St. John’s back up by two before Petree, who scored 20 points, hit a tying jumper with 30 seconds left ahead of Everett’s game-winner.

Carolina has won all six meetings with St. John’s, including an 81–79 OT victory in the first round of the 1984 NCAA tournament in Chapel Hill.

St. John’s has a NET ranking of 55, compared to UNC’s 21.

St. John’s 66, Purdue 64

UNC vs. St. John’s

Feb. 2, 1987, 69–61 win at St. John’s
March 16, 1984, 81–79 OT win in first round of the NCAA tournament in Chapel Hill
Feb. 2, 1987, 69–61 win at St. John’s
Nov. 27, 1998, 77–67 win in Honolulu, Hawaii
Dec. 20, 2006, 87–43 win in Myrtle Beach, S.C.
Dec. 6, 2009, 83–73 home win

Columbus subregional

At the Schottenstein Center in Columbus, Ohio
Thursday’s play-in game

St. John’s 66, Purdue 64
Saturday’s first-round games
No. 3-seed Ohio State (25–7) vs. No. 14 James Madison (26–7), 1:30, ESPN2
No. 6 North Carolina (21–10) vs. No. 11 St. John’s (23–8), 4 p.m., ESPN
Monday’s second round
Saturday winners

Storrs subregional

At Gampel Pavilion in Storrs, Conn.
Saturday’s first-round games

No. 2 UConn (29–5) vs. No. 15 Vermont (25–6), 3 p.m., ABC
No. 7-seed Baylor (19–12) vs. No. 10 Alabama (20–10), 5:30, ESPN2
Monday’s second round
Saturday winners

Seattle Regional 3

At Climate Pledge Arena in Seattle
Saturday, March 25 regional semifinals

Columbus, Ohio, subregional winner vs. Storrs subregional winner
Knoxville, Tenn., subregional winner (No. 4 Tennesee, No. 13 Saint Louis, No. 5 Iowa State or No. 12 Toledo) vs. Blacksburg, Va. subregional winner (No. 1 Virginia Tech, No. 16 Chatanooga, No. 8 Southern Cal or No. 9 South Dakota State)
Monday, March 27 regional final
Regional semifinal winners


(current ranking)
9WednesdayW, 91–59Jackson StateHome1–0
12SaturdayW, 75–48TCUHome2–0
16WednesdayW, 93–25South Carolina StateHome3–0
20SundayW, 76–65James MadisonHarrisonburg, Va.4–0
Phil Knight Invitational
24ThursdayW, 85–79OregonPortland5–0
27SundayW, 73–64No. 17 Iowa State Portland6–0
DecemberACC/Big Ten Challenge
1ThursdayL, 87–63No. 2 IndianaBloomington, Ind.6–1
7WednesdayW, 64–42UNCWHome7–1
11SundayW, 99–67WoffordHome8–1
16FridayW, 89–47USC UpstateHome9–1
Jumpman Invitational
20TuesdayL, 76–68No. 18 MichiganCharlotte9–2
ACC season begins
29ThursdayL, 78–71Florida StateHome9–3, 0–1 ACC
1SundayL, 68–65No. 4
Virginia Tech
Blacksburg, Va.9–4, 0–2 ACC
5ThursdayL, 62–58MiamiCoral Gables, Fla.9–5, 0–3 ACC
8SundayW, 60–50No. 10
Notre Dame
1–3 ACC
12ThursdayW, 70–59VirginiaCharlottesville, Va.11–5,
2–3 ACC
15SundayW, 56–47N.C. StateHome12–5,
3–3 ACC
19ThursdayW, 61–56No. 13 DukeHome13–5,
4–3 ACC
22SundayW, 70–57Georgia TechHome14–5,
5–3 ACC
26ThursdayW, 72–57PittsburghPittsburgh15–5,
6–3 ACC
29SundayW, 69–58ClemsonClemson16–5,
7–3 ACC
2ThursdayW, 73–62VirginiaHome17–5,
8–3 ACC
5SundayL, 62–55LouisvilleLouisville17–6,
8–4 ACC
9ThursdayL, 75–67SyracuseSyracuse17–7,
8–5 ACC
12SundayW, 73–55Boston CollegeHome18–7,
9–5 ACC
16ThursdayL, 77–66, OTN.C. StateRaleigh18–8,
9–6 ACC
19SundayW, 71–58Wake ForestHome19–8,
10–6 ACC
23ThursdayL, 61–59No. 4
Virginia Tech
10–7 ACC
26SundayW, 45–41No. 13 DukeDurham20–9,
10–8 ACC
MarchACC Tournament
2ThursdayW, 68–58Clemson Greensboro21–9
3FridayL, 44–40No. 13 Duke Greensboro21–10
NCAA tournament
18SaturdayW, 61–59 St. John’sColumbus, Ohio22–10
20MondayL, 71–69No. 12 Ohio State Columbus, Ohio22–11

Photo via @StJohnsWBB


1 Comment

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s