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

Surging St. John’s Survives Providence 75-73

The Red Storm boast a 4-1 start to conference play, their best since 2001.
Freshman forward Brady Dunlap scored seven of his nine points just 2:33 into the game.
Torch Photo / Sara Kiernan

In October, the St. John’s Red Storm found themselves in fifth place on the Big East Preseason Coaches’ Poll. While questions surrounded the new personnel, there was an evident expectation to win. 

Fast forward to Jan. 10, where Rick Pitino and company are fresh off a nail-biting 75-73 win over Providence at Madison Square Garden, placing the Red Storm tied atop the Big East.

Prior to Wednesday night’s triumph, St. John’s had mauled three of their first four conference rivals, notching double-digit wins in every matchup outside of No. 4 UConn. The first 15 minutes of play suggested another potential blowout.  

The first half displayed the latest installment of “Bradymania”, as freshman forward Brady Dunlap scored seven of his nine points just 2:33 into the game. The Californian’s impressive run set an early tone, and his teammates swiftly joined in. Senior guard Daniss Jenkins (16 pts., 8 asst.) and graduate guard Jordan Dingle (9 pts.) would combine for 20 first half points, leading to a 40-29 advantage for St. John’s at halftime.

Daniss Jenkins put up an impressive 16 points and eight assists vs. the Friars.
Torch Photo / Sara Kiernan

Providence responded with a gut-punching 14-4 run, taking their first lead of the game as “Let’s go Friars!” chants rained from the crowd just five minutes into the second half. Junior Providence guard Devin Carter began to dominate, exploiting the Red Storm’s man defense. 

Pitino would eventually switch from man-to-man to a zone, halting the bleeding and initiating a 13-2 St. John’s run, putting them up 57-47 with just under 10 minutes to play. Senior center Joel Soriano contributed 14 of his 16 points during this stretch, regaining full control for the Red Storm. 

Despite the run, Carter and Providence persisted. The junior guard finished with 31 points and 13 rebounds, cutting the lead to as low as one. Dunlap headed to the free throw line with under 10 seconds remaining in regulation with a chance to extend the lead to four. After missing both, sophomore forward RJ Luis Jr. (12 pts, 8 rebs)  secured the offensive rebound in a superhuman effort before heading to the charity stripe himself. Luis would go one-for-two at the line, but a spectacular contest on sophomore guard Jayden Pierre’s game-winning shot attempt secured the win for St. John’s. 

Sophomore RJ Luis Jr. put up 12 pts and eight rebounds against Providence.
Torch Photo / Sara Kiernan

In the post game press conference, Pitino found a silver lining in the second half collapse. 

“If we would’ve won by 20 tonight, we would have went into Creighton and gotten our asses handed to us,” the hall of famer said. “I’m pissed at my guys right now, but that’s okay. I thought tonight was a great experience for our basketball team.”

The victory moved St. John’s to 6-3 in Quad 1 and 2 games this season. For context, the Red Storm’s record in such games in the previous two seasons was 6-27. They will have an opportunity to pick up another Quad 1 win this Saturday, as they travel to Nebraska to take on No. 22 Creighton at 1 p.m. 

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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.

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