Tuesday, March 5, 2024

St. John's Drops DePaul In Penultimate Regular Season Game


Daniss Jenkins looks to make a play. @StJohnsBball.

The St. John's Red Storm cruised to a 104-77 win on the road over the DePaul Blue Demons on Tuesday night to give them a winning record in Big East Conference play.

St. John's is now 18-12 overall and 10-9 in Big East play, with the regular season finale on Saturday against Georgetown (2-16 in Big East play) at Madison Square Garden. DePaul fell to 0-19 in Big East Conference play with this loss. 

This was St. John's fourth straight win, and with the Big East Tournament commencing next Wednesday, the Red Storm have an excellent shot at hitting the 20-win plateau that could put them in line for an NCAA Tournament appearance.

Jordan Dingle and Chris Ledlum paced St. John's, with 19 points apiece. Dingle shot 8-10 from the field, 3-4 from behind the arc, with six assists and a rebound, while Ledlum was 8-11 from the field, including making his lone three-point attempt, with eight rebounds and three assists.

Simeon Wilcher had 12 points (4-8 FG, 3-5 threes), and two assists, and Daniss Jenkins, Nahiem Alleyne, and RJ Luis each had 11 points, giving St. John's six players in double figures.

St. John's took this game over with a 30-6 run that took a game that was 24-22 nine minutes in and gave the Red Storm a commanding 54-28 lead at the half. They led by as many as 44 points, 92-48, with 8:49 remaining in the second half.

PITINO POSTGAME: St. John's Head Coach Rick Pitino addressed the media after the game, and opened with this statement: "We played about as well as you could play offensively. I'm actually glad DePaul came back a little at the end, we don't want to embarrass anybody. Those guys are going through a difficult year, so I'm glad they came back, made some shots. For about eighty percent of the game, we counldn't play any better offensively."

On the strong play as of late: "I think we are practicing great, playing great, with the exception of the last twenty percent of the game [tonight]. We have been playing great basketball in practice. [Our performance against] Creighton (80-66 win on February 25th) was terrific, Butler (82-59 win on Feb. 28th) was even better. Tonight, our offense was clicking. We never panicked when they made a few threes, we just kept running our offense. When you see 26 assists and six turnovers, it's continuing now. Six turnovers, three turnovers, you all remember the beginning of the year, turnovers were a major problem for us. We are getting a lot better, and you want to get better in March. I think Dingle and Ledlum are the key for us getting a lot better. I think Jordan was terrific tonight. He only played 12 minutes and had 19 points, six assists, and no turnovers. He played a fabulous game and so did Chris. They all played tremendous basketball."

On the team's improvement: "We are getting a lot better, improving, working very hard. They are highly motivated to play good basketball. We have played good basketball all year with the exception of a couple of games, but never this good where you see six turnovers, six turnovers, three turnovers (referring to the Creighton, Butler, and DePaul wins). We are playing good basketball and we want to keep it up."

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