The Independent Student Newspaper of St. John's University

The Torch

The Independent Student Newspaper of St. John's University

The Torch

The Independent Student Newspaper of St. John's University

The Torch

Soriano’s Career Night Lifts St. John’s Over West Virginia

Faced with a familiar foe, the Red Storm extended their win streak to three.
Torch Photo / Sara Kiernan

227 days ago, senior forward Quinn Slazinski would commit to St. John’s University. Last night, Slazinski took the floor against the Red Storm in a reunion of sorts for himself and head coach Rick Pitino. The 6’9 deep threat played under Pitino for two seasons at Iona. In order to make room for incoming freshman guard Simeon Wilcher, Slazinski would be forced back into the transfer portal. 

While Slazinski would continue his hot start to the season (19 points), West Virginia would eventually fall to the Red Storm 79-73 during the 2023 Big East-Big 12 battle in a back-and-forth affair. 

Senior big man Joel Soriano recorded a career-high 24 points, nine rebounds and one trip to the dentist during the showdown in Morgantown. Late in the second half, Soriano collided with graduate forward Chris Ledlum, knocking out one of the team captain’s front teeth. Despite sustaining visual pain, Soriano would finish the contest. 

Photo Courtesy / Instagram sjumanagers

Ledlum provided his best output of the season, en route to a 17 point double-double. St. John’s dominated the interior — tallying 32 points in the paint, 18 offensive rebounds and 26 second-chance points. 

The Red Storm suffocated senior West Virginia star Jesse Edwards all night, holding him to only 15 points and forcing the big man to foul out with just under four minutes to play. 

Leading by four with 17.8 seconds remaining, St. John’s called on senior guard and UConn transfer Nahiem Alleyne. The southpaw shooter showed off his championship experience, burying a corner three to put the game away for the Red Storm. Alleyne tied his season-high for minutes played, leading to 14 points (12 in the second half) in what was his best performance in a St. John’s uniform. 

Prior to the game, news broke that sophomore forward RJ Luis would again be sidelined for an extended period of time. In need of a spark off the bench in Luis’ absence, Alleyne stepped up.

Coach has been saying to execute that play with pace. Jordan [Dingle] came off the screen from Glenn Taylor and he saw me in the corner,” Alleyne said. “I saw an opportunity to shoot it and it went down.”

Alleyne was not the lone role-player to make an impact, as junior forward Glenn Taylor Jr. showed off his clutch gene as well. Taylor Jr. made key plays down the stretch, including a forced turnover leading to an Alleyne layup, a monstrous block in transition and a tough finish inside to put the Red Storm up by 5. All three plays took place with less than two minutes left on the game clock. 

On an off-night for graduate guards Daniss Jenkins and Jordan Dingle (16 combined points), St. John’s was able to overcome an ugly 7/27 shooting display from beyond the arc. While the Red Storm’s performance still left much to be desired, they continue to find ways to win.

In the post game press conference, Pitino spoke on his team’s resilience. 

“I thought this was a great win,” he said. “Tremendous job of executing down the stretch. We didn’t shoot the three well in the beginning but made the big ones in the end.” 

St. John’s will look to extend their win streak to four in a home matchup with Sacred Heart (4-4) at Carnesecca Arena on Dec. 6 at 7 p.m.

Leave a Comment
More to Discover
About the Contributor
Kyler Fox, Asst. Sports Editor
Kyler is a junior journalism student serving as an Assistant Sports Editor. Outside of The Torch, Kyler is a contributor for both A Daly Dose of Hoops and Last Word on Sports. When he isn’t writing, you can either find him keeping up with his favorite sports teams or checking out the latest sneaker drops.

Comments (0)

We love comments and feedback, but we ask that you please be respectful in your responses.
All The Torch Picks Reader Picks Sort: Newest

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *