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 Set Program Record in Lopsided Victory Over DePaul

In desperate need of a ‘get-right game,’ Rick Pitino and company delivered.
Graduate guard Jordan Dingle tallied 14 points and four assts vs. DePaul.
Torch Photo / Sara Kiernan

Just four days ago, St. John’s fell to No. 1 UConn in front of a sellout Madison Square Garden crowd. On Feb. 6, the Red Storm went from one extreme to the other. Instead of playing the best team in the nation, they were tasked with defeating DePaul, who has served as the Big East’s punching bag of late. Head coach Rick Pitino’s second game at UBS Arena was headlined by his own bobblehead night, yet there were still just over 6,000 fans in attendance for the 85-57 win.  

This had ‘get-right game’ written all over it. Due to recent uninspiring play, St. John’s needed to send a message in their opening 20 minutes of action. The message they sent was clear: they were going to live or die by the three-point line. 

In a somewhat disappointing first half display, there were some bright spots. Graduate guard Jordan Dingle (14 pts., 4 assts.) tallied 11 points in the early going, connecting on three shots from beyond the arc. The Red Storm’s press gave DePaul fits in the opening span, forcing 11 turnovers. Thanks to shooting an ugly 35% from the field, St. John’s allowed the Blue Devils to sneak back into the game late in the first half. An 11-0 run keyed DePaul’s comeback, as the Red Storm found themselves with a 38-29 advantage at the halftime break. Pitino was visibly upset. 

The second half proved to be a different story, as St. John’s could seemingly do no wrong. Graduate guard Daniss Jenkins (14 pts., 3 assts.) sparked an 8-2 run all on his own. Freshman forward Brady Dunlap (6 pts., 1 reb.) connected on two three pointers in just 15 seconds. After collecting multiple DNPs in the past few games, graduate guard Sean Conway (9 pts., 5 rebs.) flashed his potential as a role player. This was the Red Storm fans expected to see versus the lowly Blue Devils. 

St. John’s pushed the contest out of reach early in the second half, en route to a program record 15 made three-pointers. Although the feat came against a DePaul team that has dug itself into an 0-12 conference record, this was the kind of performance the Red Storm were in dire need of following a brutal schedule stretch. 

Thanks to the second half onslaught, the hall-of-famer was pleased postgame. 

“We did a good job of moving the basketball in the beginning, [but] we weren’t making many shots,” Pitino said. “I wanted movement and I wanted them to take open shots. I’ll take 40 threes [attempted] if they can shoot almost 38%.”

Pitino saw a different version of Dingle Tuesday night, comparing him to an arch rival. 

“I think he can learn from [UConn guard] Cam Spencer. I’ll put [Dingle] against any shooter in the country. You can learn from every single team. He’s just got to move more like Cam Spencer, and these guys will find him.”

 

Having delivered their ‘get-right game’, St. John’s has yet another grueling task lined up. The Red Storm travel to No. 7 Marquette (17-5) for a 6 p.m. matchup with the Golden Eagles on Saturday, Feb. 10. Marquette narrowly won the previous meeting at Madison Square Garden on Jan. 21. 

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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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