Week after Pitino’s lashing, SJU upsets Creighton

Feb 25, 2024, 05:21 PM ET

NEW YORK– Worn white from head to toe, Rick Pitino and his St. John’s players handed No. 15 Creighton a humbling defeat.Daniss Jenkins

scored a season-high 27 points and St. John’s shredded the Bluejays 80-66 on Sunday for its finest win yet under the Hall of Fame coach.Jordan Dingle

added 18 points and the Red Storm (16-12, 8-9 Big East) finally closed out a quality conference opponent following a string of blown leads. They assemble a scientific efficiency from start to complete in front of a roaring, chanting crowd of 12,061 at Madison Square Garden, making all 10 complimentary tosses and acquiring 24 helps to just three turnovers while holding the Bluejays (20-8, 11-6) to 6-for-26 shooting (23%) from 3-point range.

“I believe we discovered a lot tonight, what terrific basketball appears like,” said Pitino, in his very first season at St. John’s.

On the sideline, the 71-year-old Pitino looked a little like Colonel Sanders in his all-white suit and shoes as the Red Storm encouraged a “whiteout” among fans on Johnnies Day at MSG.

“I actually wasn’t going to use it. It was a last-minute thing,” Pitino said, explaining that his spouse prodded him repeatedly. “My players were going to get a big toss out of it, which’s why I did it.”

So on Saturday afternoon, he strolled over to the Armani store a half-block from his house and requested for a little assistance picking out some brand-new digs.

“I couldn’t suit the old one,” Pitino stated, drawing laughs.

“He brought out that on, you can’t lose,” stated Jenkins, who shot 12-for-18 and added 6 assists, two takes and two blocks.Editor’s Picks

2 Associated Joel Soriano had 12 points, seven rebounds and 5 helps for the Red Storm, who entered 0-5 against Top 25 challengers this season. Glenn Taylor Jr. finished with a team-high 10 rebounds and six helps. “Anytime we attempted to be a little bit more aggressive, they made

the additional pass and turned a great shot into a better shot,”Creighton coach Greg McDermott stated.” They moved it so well today.” Trey Alexander scored a season-best 31 points for the Bluejays,

who had actually won four straight and 7 of 9. They were coming off an eye-opening blowout of UConn in the house Tuesday night that ended the Huskies’14-game winning streak and marked the program’s first success over a top-ranked team.Ryan Kalkbrenner had 12 points, 10 rebounds and eight blocks for Creighton, which won the previous 7 conferences between the schools.St. John’s led by nine in the 2nd half Jan. 13 at Creighton before losing 66-65 in a game that featured 18 lead changes and seven

ties.”I’m not shocked. I was impressed with them the first time we played,” McDermott said.” They can beat anybody on any offered night.” A week ago, Pitino openly tore into his players after they blew a 19-point lead in a home loss to Seton Hall, saying that “if I said I was disappointed, that would be the understatement of the year. Our lateral speed and our durability is just something I’ve never ever experienced in all my years of coaching. “He apologized and clarified a few of those comments following Wednesday night’s success at having a hard time Georgetown, but the Red Storm have actually reacted with two successive wins after dropping eight of 10.”

It has to do with time,”Dingle said. “We had too many that we gave away.”Whether a strong finish could still suffice to earn an at-large NCAA tournament bid remains to be seen.The Associated Press contributed to this report.

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