Updated at: 11/21/2012 4:05 PM
By DOUG FEINBERG
(AP) NEW YORK - Shenneika Smith scored 21 points and Nadirah McKenith added 17 to help No. 18 St. John’s beat Iona 71-55 on Wednesday.
Briana Brown scored six straight points to blow the game open midway through the second half. The Red Storm (3-1) led 41-34 with 13:07 left before the junior guard had a layup, two free throws and a jumper to make it a 13-point game.
McKenith’s three-point play moments later capped the 9-0 run. Iona could only get within 11 the rest of the game.
Aleesha Powell scored 13 points and Damika Martinez added 11 to lead Iona (2-3).
The Gaels were coming off a 69-point loss to then-No. 3 Duke on Sunday. Iona trailed 27-11 with 6 minutes left in the first half before using an 11-0 run to close to 27-22.
Brown’s 3-pointer with 1:05 left ended the drought and gave St. John’s a 30-22 halftime lead. Brown finished with 15 points.
Smith, who came into the game averaging 20.5 points and 13.5 rebounds this season, moved into ninth place on the school’s all-time scoring list with a 3-pointer that made it 61-41 with 7 minutes left. That was her 1,300th point and moved her past Jackie Smith.
Smith also had eight rebounds, five assists, four steals and three blocks against Iona.
The Gaels, who fell to 4-51 against Big East schools all-time, committed 20 turnovers _ 16 in the first half.
The Red Storm have won 12 of the 14 meetings between the schools.
(Copyright 2012 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)