|Jordan Dingle slamming home a dunk on Sunday night. @StJohnsBball.|
St. John's beat Utah, 91-82, to win the Third-Place Game of the Charleston Classic on Sunday night. Houston won the tournament by beating Dayton, 69-55, in the championship game.
The Red Storm, who improved to 3-2 on the season, took two of their three games in the tournament, as they opened with a 53-52 win over North Texas on Thursday afternoon, followed by an 88-80 loss to Dayton on Friday afternoon before this win over Utah.
Joel Soriano led the way with a double-double, had he had 12 points, on 5-for-10 shooting, and racked up 15 rebounds, including five on the offensive end.
Daniss Jenkins had 19 points (8-17 on field goals, 0-2 on three-pointers), eight assists, and four rebounds. Jordan Dingle had 18 points (7-13 FG, 4-8 on threes), five assists, and three rebounds. Chris Ledlum came close to a double-double as he had 15 points (5-9 FG, 4-7 on threes) and nine rebounds, with two assists. Nahiem Alleyne had 10 points off the bench, as he shot 4-6 overall and 2-4 on threes.
Pitino Postgame: St. John's Head Coach Rick Pitino opened with this statement: "Before the game, I was just speaking about Houston and how they struggled the first year to put in an incredible culture. And I said, 'We don't want to be Houston, but we want to take the dynamics of Houston and be the eastern version of them.' Their toughness, the way they play with reckless abandonment...Our guys were very tough and aggressive on offense tonight. The end of the game, we made some mistakes, but these guys were flat-out exhausted. I had to call that timeout just to get them some rest. I'm proud of Chris [Ledlum] because I've been trying to get him to shoot the open shot because he's a very good shooter and it's going to set up the drives for him. I'm proud of Jordan [Dingle] because he's getting better and better, except for catching the ball with one hand. Outside of that, he played a great game and he's showing what he is because he's getting used to the rest of the guys. I'm proud of both of these guys...They really helped us get a great victory. We beat a tremendous team tonight. This tournament, I want to thank ESPN, Charleston, Shriners for giving us this type of competition this early in the season. It's flat-out great...We are a little disappointed we didn't win it, but elated to come out of it 2-1."
On team's outlook: "I just want them playing fast with offensive confidence, taking open shots, moving the ball. We had 19 assists tonight, we shot a great percentage. The great thing about is our defense is now 50% of what it was. We want to press intelligently. I'm going to try to form where these guys don't have to press as much."
On tonight's performance: "I think they all took good shots. They pushed the pace, they didn't let the pace get away. Utah could have beaten Houston. It was very close with a minute to go in the game. We knew they could some back. You see the way they shoot the basketball, you see the size. I think Joel [Soriano] played about as intelligent as a pivot man can play by walling up and not fouling. It was tremendous to see that."