St. John’s Shines 95-68 in Slaughter Over LIU

The team is one of six programs with an undefeated record this season.

Torch Photo / Sara Kiernan

The St. John’s Men’s Basketball team started strong and never looked back against Long Island University on Tuesday, Nov. 29, improving to 8-0 on their season in a 95-68 rout. 

The Red Storm looked stellar in every aspect of the game, most notably in their paint presence. Sixty-two of their 95 points came from the paint, something that they have used to that degree thus far this season. The team shot a season-best 60.6 percent from the field in their second-highest scoring effort of the season.

Andre Curbelo and Joel Soriano both had great all-around performances. Curbelo led the scoring with 18 points, eight rebounds and eight assists. After struggling to start the season, the guard  has turned it around in the past four games. 

Soriano, the NCAA leader in rebounds, also recorded his NCAA-leading seventh double-double with 16 points and 10 rebounds. His performance is  key to the team’s interior presence. Soriano was named Big East Player of the Week on Nov. 28, following a performance that saw the center average 18.3 points and 15.0 rebounds in three victories throughout the previous week – a strong recognition for his strong performance thus far.

“I think he’s playing with what he brings to the table,” said head coach Mike Anderson, referencing Soriano’s production. “He has length, size and athletic ability.” 

The team led by as much as 34 points, reducing  the Sharks chance of a comeback. The team’s 33 bench points – led by Rafael Pinzon, who missed the previous three games with an ankle injury – seemed to be a big difference. “We got some guys back who had been out,” Anderson said. “Posh [Alexander] was out, and Rafael [Pinzon] was out, so it was good to get those guys back and get in a groove.”

The team spread the ball around, with five players scoring in double figures. David Jones continued his strong season with 14 points, while Posh Alexander added 12 in his return to the court following a one-game stint in concussion protocol.

“I love to see one go down and it builds up my confidence,” Alexander said in the postgame conference. “The moral of the story is that we got the win today and I played basketball with my brothers.” 

The team’s first true test of the season comes Sunday, Dec. 4 at Iowa State, a team currently ranked No. 23 in the nation following a victory over former No.1 seed UNC. “I think we’re playing pretty good basketball,”  said Anderson. “When we go on the road, we’re going to play against a team [Iowa State] that’s a really good defensive team.” 

After the team’s first road game of the season, the St. John’s Men’s Basketball team returns home on Wednesday Dec. 7, against DePaul at 6:30 p.m. in Carnesecca Arena.