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

St. John’s Surges to 6-2, Discards Sacred Heart At Home

The Red Storm now boast a four game winning streak.
Torch Photo / Sara Kiernan

Nearly three weeks ago, head coach Rick Pitino and company were fresh off a disappointing loss to Dayton, finding themselves near the bottom of the Big East. Fast forward to last night, and St. John’s now sits at 6-2 after blasting Sacred Heart 85-50. The Red Storm have fired off four straight wins — courtesy of their superstar big man Joel Soriano

The senior center continued his tear, putting up 18 points, 13 rebounds and six assists in just 24 minutes of action. Soriano recorded his fourth double-double of the season in the first half, leading the Red Storm a 47-26 advantage after the halftime buzzer. 

Graduate guards Jordan Dingle (17 points) and Daniss Jenkins (13 points) had their most efficient game as a duo. Each buried three shots from beyond the arc, while only committing three total turnovers. The veteran backcourt proved they can still be a massive threat while Soriano stuffs the stat-sheet.

Once the game was out of reach, Pitino opted to hand the reins to some of the younger guys. Despite being overshadowed by Soriano’s dominance, backup sophomore center Zuby Ejiofor continued to flash his potential. The Kansas transfer recorded three blocks, one of which sent a Sacred Heart shot attempt into the third row of Carnesecca Arena.

The blowout win was the perfect opportunity to gain more experience for the only two freshmen on the roster. Forward Brady Dunlap had the best game of his young career, providing the Red Storm with six points and suffocating defense.

Dunlap would be the first man off the bench for the Red Storm, as well as a member of the starting five entering the second half. Guard Simeon Wilcher quarterbacked the offense for much of the second half, tallying five points, four assists and just two turnovers. 

With some surprising outcomes in the Big East occurring over the last few weeks, Pitino discussed the importance of taking care of business against an inferior opponent. 

“Everybody can have a [bad] night if they’re not ready emotionally,” Pitino said. “We knew we were better than Sacred Heart, but we knew if we weren’t emotionally and physically ready, they could make a game out of it.”

In the midst of Soriano’s campaign for the Kareem Abdul-Jabbar Center of the Year Award, the hall-of-famer spoke glowingly of the Yonkers-native’s recent performance. 

“He’s the anchor for our team, he’s the captain,” Pitino said. “He’s doing a fabulous job.”

The Red Storm will not travel far for their next matchup, as they take on Boston College (6-3) in the NABC Brooklyn Showcase at the Barclays Center on Dec. 10. 

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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.

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